Skip to main content

Full text of "The Georgia historical quarterly"

See other formats







VOL. V — No. 1 

MARCH, 1921 


HAR b 1832 

Allen County Public Library 















VOL. V — No. 1 

MARCH, 1921 

One Dollar a Number. Three Dollars a Year 

Application pending: for entry at the post office 
at Macon, Georgia, as second-class mail matter 



President Corresponding Secretary 


Vice-President Secretary Treasurer 



Vice-President Chairman Publishing Committee 




Athens ^j^J. WILLIAM W. GORDON, Savannah 

DR. R. P. BROOKS Athens 



MR.T. M. CUNNINGHAM, Jr., Savannah ^r, a. C. NEWELL Atlanta 

JUDGE BEVERLY D. EVANS, Savannah ^r. h. R. SLACK LaGrang© 

HON. LAWTON B. EVANS Augusta juDGE W. E. THOMAS Valdosta 


ROBERT PRESTON BROOKS, Ph. D University of Georgia 

THEODORE HENLEY JACK, Ph. D Emory University 

ELLIS MERTON COULTER, Ph. D University of Georgia 

CLEO HEARON, Ph. D Agnes Scott College 

PERCY SCOTT FLIPPIN, Ph. D Mercer University 

CHARLES SEYMOUR THOMPSON, A. B Savannah Public Library 

PERCY SCOTT FLIPPIN, Ph. D., Managing Editor 


The Nullification Movement in Georgia, page 

E, Merton Coulter, Ph. D : 3 

The Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia in 1865-6, 

C. Mildred Thompson, Ph. D 40 

Howell Cobb Papers, 

Edited by R. P. Brooks, Ph. D 50 

Book Reviews, E. Merton Coulter, Ph. D 62 

Exchanges, Cleo Hear on, Ph. D 66 

Historical News 70 

The Georgia Historical Quarterly 

Volume V March, 1921 Number 1 

The Nullification Movement in Georgia^ 


University of Georgia 

The doctrine of nullification is best known in connection 
with South Carolina. It might not be so had the movement 
started under other circumstances or leadership. The condi- 
tions producing the movement and bringing it to a head in 
South Carolina were common to the Southern States; but 
nuUification as the remedy for the evils complained of was 
not accepted throughout the South. This was due in some 
extent to the precipitate course pursued by South Carolina in 
not acting in conjunction and consultation with the other 
Southern States. An attempt to approach the doctrine 
through the united action and accord of the Southern States 
assembled in a convention would have come much nearer suc- 
cess, both in the adoption of nullification and in its effective- 
ness as a remedy against the tariff. But when the supreme 
test came, South Carolina found herself acting alone. 

Of all the other Southern States, Georgia was considered 
the best ground for the doctrine to thrive and develop in. 
Many interpreted Georgia's long-standing course with the 
Federal Government regarding the Indian question as virtual 
nullification. V^hether this were true or not, the distinction, 
apart from other considerations, was rather difficult for the 
ordinary voter to discern. That Georgia did not nullify, and 
that she did not do it even before South Carolina did, be- 
speaks her strong attachment for the Union. 

By 1824 Georgia as well as most of the Southern States 
had come to believe that no good could result from the tariff 
for the South. The tariff bill of that year received the solid 

1, Presented at the fourth annual meeting of the Georgia Historical Association, 
May 22, 1920. 


opposition of her delegation in Congress. Within a few years 
the North had united in its support of protection, and in 1828 
the tariff law, commonly called the "tariff of abominations," 
was passed. The South now gradually waking up to the fact 
that protection was to be a permanent policy of the Federal 
Government, bitterly opposed the law. This realization was 
serious and burned deep. The Georgia Legislature passed a 
set of resolutions in the same year, condemning the tariff law 
as "deceptive in its title, fraudulent in its pretexts, oppressive 
in its exactions, partial and unjust in its operations, uncon- 
stitutional in its well known objects, ruinous to commerce and 
agriculture — to secure a hateful monopoly to a combination 
of importunate manufacturers."^^ As a remedy the Georgia 
House resolved that if Congress failed to grant redress, a 
committee should be appointed to represent the State in a 
convention of the Southern States "to deliberate upon and 
devise a suitable mode of resistance to that unjust, unconsti- 
tutional and oppressive law." ^ 

The attitude of the State was ever the same regarding the 
viciousness of the tariff, regardless of the time or the occa- 
sion. The remedy was the all-absorbing question — on this 
alone the parties differed. Governor Forsyth counselled that 
efforts be directed toward repealing the law rather than 
attempting to nullify it.^ With the conservative elements in 
control of the Legislature at this time, resolutions demanding 
"measures of decisive character, for the protection of the 
people of the State, and the vindication of the Constitution 
of the United States" were considered too radical and were 
promptly laid on the table.* However, numerous anti-tariff 
meetings sprang up throughout the State, contenting them- 
selves generally in merely resolving against the tariff.^ 

During the succeeding years from 1 828 to 1 832, the politi- 
cal elements were beginning to arrange themselves with some 
degree of clarity on the question of nullification — a question 

la. Nilcs' Weekly Registei- (Edited by Hezekiah Niles at Baltimore), Vol. 30, p. 340. 

2. H. V. Ames, State Documents on Federal Relations (Philadelphia, 1906), 153, 154. 

3. U. B. Phillips, Georgia and State Rights (Washington, 1902), 117, 118. 

4. Athc7iian (Edited by O. P. Shaw at Athens, strongly State rights, but not to the 
limits of nullification), Dec. 23. 1828. 

5. Ibid., July 15, Aug. 26, 1828 ; Phillips, Georgia and State Rights, 117, 118. 


which was becoming more and more a subject of discussion. 
Georgia's political parties and politics at this time are too 
compHcated to be untangled here. The removal of the Chero- 
kee Indians, and all the attendant problems, served to detract 
attention from nullification. Parties were based on men and 
not on measures. The Troup party made up of the more aris- 
tocratic elements leaned more toward State Rights, while the 
Clark party with its following of small farmers and frontiers- 
men was considered to have had a stronger attachment to the 
Union. But very often these proclivities were thrown away 
when it came to a question of deserting a leader. All of which 
led Hezekiah Niles (editor of Niles^ Register) to say, "We 
know not what they differ about — but they do violently 
differ." ^ The majority of the Legislature during most of this 
period was of the Clark party. In the session of 1830, it 
passed its customary resolutions denouncing the tariff; but 
resolved that the people of Georgia "view with deep and 
increasing solicitude the frequent and open expression of 
opinion, unfriendly to the continuance of our present happy 
Union. ... It is firmly believed that disunion will bring in 
its train discord, misery, and civil war ; and finally, that the 
people of this State will deem those unworthy of their confi- 
dence, and their worst enemies, who seek to sow among them 
the seeds of disunion, and introduce the baneful doctrines of 
nullification."' The State Rights element denounced these 
resolutions as not representing Georgia, but only the Clark 

As time passed the "tariff of abominations" continued to 
grow in unpopularity. The Georgia House in 1831 by an 
overwhelming majority expressed its sentiments against the 
tariff as "inexpedient, oppressive, unequal, and destructive to 
the great leading interests of the South." It yielded to no one 
in its bitter denunciations. But as to the remedy for the evil, 
the case was far different. Resolutions were decisively de- 
feated in the House by a vote of 87 to 26, declaring that a 
State had the right tO/judge for itself on the constitutionality 
of an act of Congress "and to act upon the mode as well as 

6. Niles' Register, Vol. 41, p. 150. 

7. Athenian, Dec. 7, 1830. This resolution passed the Senate, 37-32. 


the measure of Its redress," and that "it is a question not of 
right . . . but a question of expediency, having exclusive 
references to the consequences which may grow out of the 
exercise of that right."® This was a complete rout for those 
inclined to nullification doctrines. The Richmond Whig de- 
clared this to be "among the phenomena of the times. . . . 
And who is it that rejects them? Georgia, of all others, the 
State, which besides that she has ever professed these doc- 
trines, is the only one that has practically enforced them! 
Under what influence has she thus acted? Fear of the name 
of nullification — not the thing — for that Georgia loves and 
practices — but fear of the name, and a wish not to injure 
gen. Jackson. Never was there a more lucky hit, than chris- 
tening the doctrines contended for by S. Carolina nullifica- 
tion.^^ ^ The Senate unanimously passed a set of resolutions 
favoring the re-election of Jackson, and condemning Calhoun 
for his doctrines especially "on the subject of nullification."^** 
The almost unanimity of opinion of this Legislature, neces- 
sarily could not represent the same state of mind outside. 
However, in the face of this stand for the Union, many 
people throughout the State were deeply influenced. Outright 
nullification was too radical to be boldly embraced at this 
time by any important group, but there was a considerable 
trend In that direction. A correspondent to the Athenian 
wrote that should the North and the West continue in their 
course, "the time will then come, and it is with feelings of 
awful Import, and a sensation that almost causes my pen to 
fall from my hand, while I write it, — ''it will he time for 
Georgia to calculate the value of the JJnion\"^^ The Troup 
party was undoubtedly much more Impatient with the tariff 
than was the Clark party. Ex-Governor Troup was bitter 
against the protected manufacturer: "The many-headed 
tyrant, In the habitual violation of the Constitution, vaunts 
his love of the Union, as If ready to make a burnt-offering of 
his looms and spindles upon the altar of the Union — yet, not 
one jot of concession is made to the prayers and Intreaties, 

8. Niles' Register, Vol. 41, p. 392. 

9. Niles' Register, Vol. 41, p. 392. 

10. Ihid., 272. 

11. Athenian, June 8, 1830. 


which, if offerd to the throne of Grace, would be received 
graciously and answered favorably."^^ The election of 1831, 
with all the customary confusion of men rather than issues, 
resulted in the choice of Wilson Lumpkin as governor. He 
represented the sentiment against nullification, although all 
of those who voted for him cannot be said to have had similar 
sentiments. His subsequent course through two succeeding 
terms, shows his decided attitude against that doctrine. He 
also gradually crystallized around himself a party of like 
views. At this time the Clark party was charged with accus- 
ing Troup of drunkenness while "studiously complemeting" 
Webster. But the evils of the tariff were "small sufferings to 
the people in the eyes of the Clark leaders to what they them- 
selves suffer in being deprived of the honor and emoluments 
of office — of the loaves and fishes of the public treasury; and 
rather than act in concert with the Troup party in the least 
particular, they will embrace the vampire who is sucking their 
blood, and support doctrines which are inflicting worse than 
Egyptian bondage upon us."'^ 

But some far-seers believed the remedy against the tariff 
to be found outside of politics. Knowing that the present 
national policy on the tariff was induced by industrial condi- 
tions in the North, they decided that the remedy lay in suiting 
Southern economic conditions to protection. They would, 
therefore, diversify the products of the soil and engage in 
manufacturing. They believed " 'Disunion' sounds harsh 
when not justified by the strongest necessity."^* Governor 
Troup in his message to the Legislature in 1827 recom- 
mended that it address all the Southern States of like interests 
with Georgia and "suggest the expediency of concurring in a 
non-consumptive agreement to be carried into effect by all the 
means that are constitutionally given to their respective legis- 
latures."^^ The corollary was that the South should manu- 
facture for herself. The Athenian declared that the South 
should "now awake from her lethargy and reap the advan- 
tages of protection to manufacturies, if such a system affords 

12. E. J. Harden, The Life of George M. Troup (Savannah, 1859), 511. 

13. Athenian, June 15, 1830. 

14. Editorial in Athenian, May 9, 1828 ; Feb. 22, 1828. 

15. Ames, State Documents, 146. 


any, and throw back the evil upon those who advocate an 
unequal distribution of national favours — then and not till 
then will its impolicy be felt."^^ The students of the Univer- 
sity of Georgia condemned the "tariff of abominations" and 
resolved to use for their apparel "to the greatest possible 
extent, goods manufactured in the southern states." They 
invited the faculty and the citizens of the State generally to 
join in these intentions.^' At a subsequent meeting of the 
board of trustees, it was decided that the University students 
should clothe themselves in "Georgia homespun." ^« It soon 
became popular to declare for home-made products, and to 
refuse all use, as far as possible, of materials not made in the 
South. Many toasts at the Fourth of July celebrations of 
1828 expressed sentiments for peace and industry, as "South 
Carolina — Let her convert her swords into spindles, and her 
spears into shuttles, and prepare for peace"; "The Tariff — 
It is time for every noble Lucretia to turn from the piano to 
the distaff, we will pay them homage when they have clothed 
us in homespun." ^^ The movement was one of protest rather 
than of permanent policy. No one expected that it would be 
possible or even desirable to do more than provide for home 
consumption. As the insufficient amount of homespun would 
have to be supplemented by the factory-made, the establish- 
ment of cotton and woolen factories became the immediate 

Looking toward this accomplishment, in August of 1828, 
a meeting of more than a thousand persons was held in the 
chapel of the University of Georgia. William H. Crawford 
was made chairman; Senator Berrien, Judge Clayton, and 
Wilson Lumpkin were among those present. A protest 
against the tariff was passed and at the same time a recom- 
mendation was made that the State set to work to manufac- 
ture what she needed. As an aid to the patriotic intentions of 
some who might waver, it was suggested that the State lay an 
excise tax on goods coming Into the State. ^^ In a short time 

16. March 21, 1828. 

17. Ibid., July 1, 1828. 

18. Ibid.. Dec. 9. 

19. Ibid.. July 22. 

20. Athenian, Aug. 12, 1828. 


tangible results were beginning to appear from this agitation. 
Jefferson County sent a man north in July of 1828 to study 
the mysteries of manufacturing. About the same time a 
cotton and woolen factory in Richmond County received 
pledges of $8,000 during the first hour the subscription books 
were opened.*^ The first cotton mill to be put into operation 
was at Athens. This was in 1829. Many Georgians looked 
on these new ventures with misgivings. Some feared their 
financial failure; others feared that the State might be run- 
ning after false gods and that it might lose "the faith of the 
fathers." These enterprises were not started to working until 
thorough political explanations for their existence had been 
given. The editor of the Athenian said the gentlemen who 
were setting up the Athens mill had done something "against 
which their political convictions are most unquestionably at 
war. And we are authorized to state, that these sentiments 
have, by no means, undergone a change; that their project is 
certainly not to give countenance to a system which they have 
always denounced; but it is to be regarded as a measure un- 
questionably defensive." ^^ To others these attempts to manu- 
facture were welcomed "provided it does not tend to the 
adoption of those principles of the 'American System'." ^^ 

But this movement was destined from the beginning to be 
ineffective as a remedy against the tariff. However, it gave 
some people a field for thought and effort, who otherwise 
might have spent their time resolving against the evils of 
protection. Some definite action by the State of Georgia was 
gradually becoming the desire of a considerable number of 
people. The exact nature of this action was, by no means, 
clear. Calhoun's doctrine of nullification had been receiving 
much attention from the South Carolinians, and it was be- 
coming more probable as time went on that they would make 
use of it. South Carolina believed Georgia's course with the 
Federal Government in dealing with the Indians, pointed to 
the remedy. They professed to believe that this was the suc- 
cessful application of their doctrine of nullification. Regard- 

21. lUd., July 29. 1828. 

22. Athenian, March 31, 1829. 

23. Georgian (A daily published at Savannah, supporting the Troup party, standing 
for the Union and against nullification), March 20, 1829. 


less of the identity of this action with nullification, it was suc- 
cessful ; and South Carolina believed that the application of 
her doctrine would meet with the same success.^* She, there- 
fore, in numerous unofficial ways suggested that Georgia em- 
brace this method as a solution for the tariff. Some Geor- 
gians early fell in with this idea, especially under the leader- 
ship of the Augusta Chronicle. The editor declared "it is 
utterably impossible for a man to approve the course of 
Georgia, in relation to the Supreme Court, and not be a nuUi- 

fier, as for him to live, and not be a human being "^^ 

Many South Carolinians argued that nullification was really 
originated by Jefferson and, therefore, it represented no 
break with good State Rights doctrine. That Jefferson's 
views led to nullification was thoroughly disproved at the 
time. 2^ Governor Lumpkin denied that Georgia's course with 
the Supreme Court over the Indian question had any connec- 
tion whatsoever with nullification.*' The great majority of 
Georgians sternly refused to admit that they had been guilty 
of nullifying Federal action. Governor Gilmer in 183 1 stated 
very concisely the difference between Georgia's course and 
nullification: "Georgia has claimed no right to nullify, (in 
the verbiage of the day,) the acts of the general government, 
and only demands an exemption from attempts to control its 
authority whilst exercised upon such subjects as are within its 
exclusive jurisdiction."*® Whether these subjects were really 
within her exclusive jurisdiction or not, does not affect the 
question — Georgia's action was based on the understanding 
that they were. Nullification laid claims to no such basis. 

Georgians were not yet widely agitating the question of 
nullification. The editor of the Georgia Messenger in the 
early part of 1832 regretted that "Some how or other, the 
people of Georgia are unaccountably listless upon a subject 
of momentous importance, as that, which is agitating our 

24. Congressional Debates. 22 Cong., 2 sess., 453, 454 (1832-1833). 

25. Augusta Chronicle (A semi-weekly published at Augusta by A. H. Pemberton, 
an out-and-out nullification paper). May 26, Sept, 5, 1832. 

26. Thomas Hart Benton, Thirty Years' Vieio (New York, 1857), I, 148, 149. 

27. Wilson Lumpkin, The Removal of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia (MS first 
published. New York, 1907), I, 125. 

28. Georgia Constitutionalist (Published twice a week in Augusta by Gieu and Bunce, 
a high-toned, comprehensive paper, against nullification, and with a strong 
hatred of South Carolina), Aug. 3, 1832. 


neighboring State — Nullification is the sole engrossing sub- 
ject in a State from which we are separated only by the line 
of a river, while in Georgia, we seldom hear the subject dis- 
cussed."^^ But South Carolina lost no opportunity to interest 
Georgians. A "State Rights and Free Trade Association" 
convention was held in Charleston on February 22, 1832, to 
which many Georgians were invited.^^ A more direct move 
in this propaganda was the Hamburg dinner given to Gov- 
ernor Hamilton of South Carolina, with its aftermath, the 
Augusta dinner. The former took place in May of 1832 in 
the town of Hamburg (South Carolina), with a large num- 
ber of Georgians present. The dinner soon resolved itself 
into a nullification meeting, with most of the Georgians will- 
ing pupils. One Georgian, however, upset the harmony with 
the following toast: "In monarchies, the minority rules the 
majority; but in all good Republics, the majority must rule 
the minority." ^^ This meeting was widely held to be a bold 
step on the part of South Carolina to further nullification doc- 
trines in Georgia. It was styled by one, "a fruitless elec- 
tioneering barbecue"; but the feeling among those present 
was that a cordiale entente had been cemented, evidenced in 
this toast: "Georgia and South Carolina — ^What God has 
joined together, let no man put asunder." ^^ The dinner at 
Augusta was given soon afterwards, to the South Carolina 
governor with a large number of South Carolinians present. 
This was to be the Georgia nullifiers' answer to the nullifica- 
tion bid held out at Hamburg. With more than two thousand 
people present, this was made a veritable love feast. The 
coats of arms of South Carolina and Georgia were deftly 
interwoven in the hall decorations, "the Palmetto-tree lean- 
ing over on the right, & the Pine-tree on the left." Through- 
out the hall "were suspended numerous inscriptions, or 
mottoes, expressive of the doctrines of Nullification, painted 

29. Georgia Messenger (A weekly, published at Macon, with nullification leanings), 
March 10, 1832. 

30. Augusta Chronicle, March 7 1832. 

31. Georgian, June 2, 1832. After this toast no cheers followed and not a glass was 
raised. Some hisses were heard. This toast was sent to the meeting by a sym- 
palhizer : "The Southern States — If all their Governors were Hamiltons and 
Troups, we should never be menaced with the United States Troops." 

32. Georgian, June 2, 1832 ; Georgia Constitutionalist, June 22, 1832. 


in different colors, on white canvas, framed.^^ This meeting 
was early attacked by those opposed to nullification, as a link 
in the chain that was to bind Georgia to South Carolina in her 
mad attempt to destroy the Union. The Georgia Courier 
wished "joy of the good things they rhay collect at the pro- 
posed feast, for their days, like 'the days of the wicked' in 
general, are few and short." ^* 

One reason why South Carolina was not bolder and more 
open in her campaign in Georgia was the knowledge that her 
reputation for friendship for that State in the past was not 
high. In the presidential campaign of 1824 Crawford and 
Calhoun had with their respective States strongly opposed 
each other. Georgia also remembered Calhoun's lack of 
sympathy for her on the Indian question. It was, therefore, 
immediately charged against the Georgia nullification sym- 
pathizers that they had as their leader "a man who has been, 
and still is, a bitter enemy of Georgia, and who has done 
more harm to our State, and excited more animosity between 
the citizens, than any other man in the United States." ^^ 
Most Georgians not only resented the attempted leadership 
of an outsider and an enemy, but they also did not care to 
"be dragged nor dragooned either into submission to the 
eastern and western states on the one hand, nor into a tame 
compliance with all the wild and precipitate movements of 
South Carolina on the other. Georgia's best affections are 
with the Union, and she wishes to preserve it if possible. . . . 
She must be suffered to be mistress of her own movements, 
and the judge of the time and manner when and how to resist 
the measures that now oppress her."^^ This admonition was 
uttered for the benefit of all comers. More particularly, 
"She has not waited for Carolina to tell her of her own 
wrongs, or to prompt her to her duty. But, when, with honied 
words, Carolina would wheedle her into such a measure as 
Nullification, she will exercise discretion and beg to be ex- 
cused."^' The Georgia Constitutionalist pointedly advised 
South Carolinians to keep themselves at home, and desist 

33. Augusta Chronicle, June 2, 1832. 

34. Ihid., May 19. 

35. Georgia Constitutionalist, Aug. 19, 1S32. 

36. Athenian, Oct. 12, 1830. 

37. Editorial in Georgian, Aug. 23, 1832. 


from meddling in Georgia politics, and that if nullification 
was so pleasing a prospect, they should keep it at home and 
enjoy it to the fullest extent. "Georgia is not missionary 
ground in politics," it said, "for any sect. . . . She is con- 
tent. If others have made a happier discovery, in the art of 
government, she wishes them joy of it; but is not disposed 
herself, to commence a new apprenticeship, under any pro- 
fessor, however destinguished." ^® South Carolina was 
charged with doing much more harm than good to herself 
and to the South generally.''^ 

A persistent element headed by the Augusta Chronicle took 
up the campaign for South Carolina and nullification, and 
worked with ceaseless vigor in spreading the doctrine. They 
considered enlightenment was all that was necessary. Large 
numbers of pamphlets and speeches, mostly by South Caro- 
linians, were scattered over the State. As for these nullifica- 
tion doctrines, they declared "It is really astonishing how 
little they are understood, how much they are abused by those 
who do not understand them, and how readily they are 
adopted by those who have opposed them, the moment they 
comprehend them. I have not met with one opposed to them 
that fairly understood them."*^ To dispel the wide-spread 
fears that nullification would lead to civil war and anarchy, the 
propagandists argued that it could "in no event, produce any 
thing worse than disunion. . . ."" A great reduction in the 
price of every-day necessities was promised, if South Caro- 
lina should nullify the tariff. Hence, Georgia should encour- 
age and uphold that State, even, if she, herself, did not see 
fit to follow. Charleston would be a free port for Georgia as 
well as for South Carolina. It was claimed that then salt 

38. May 8, 1832. The Georgia Courier carried on a constant and bitter campaign of 
criticism against South Carolina. 

39. The Georgia Messenger, March 10, 1832, said, "... the State of South Caro- 
lina, assuming to herself the championship of State Rights, and professing to be 
the most democratic State in the Union, has, under the supreme domination of a 
selfish and ambitious oligarchy, prejudiced the very cause she has professed to 
support, and impaired the accomplishment of what we are so anxious to obtain — 
a reduction of oppressive duties." 

40. Augusta Chronicle, Aug. 25, May 12, 1832. The editor of the Chronicle claimed 
to have been an original nullifier, holding such opinions even before Calhoun 
did. May 7, 1832. 

41. Ihid., April 18. The editor charged the Georgia Chronicle editor with priding 
"himself in being among the first to oppose nullification. . . . When was he not 
among the first to oppose anything in support of the interests, honor, character, 
institutions, or liberties of the State in which he was born." March 24, 1832. 


could be had for 12 to 15 cents a bushel instead of 75 cents; 
that iron would be 2 cents a pound instead of 6, and that 
calico would be 9 cents a yard instead of 16 and 20. Other 
articles would be reduced in the same proportions.** In the 
face of these arguments, the opposition beat back with equal 
vigor. They charged the nullification sympathizers with 
chicanery and inconsistency. At one time nullification was 
held up as an old friend whom Georgia had been making use 
of for years ; and at another time, it was claimed that few 
Georgians really understood nullification, and that as soon as 
they did, they were for it. 

But events were fast drawing the question to a head. In 
July of 1832, a new tariff bill was passed with certain sup- 
posed concessions to the South, but still continuing unabated 
the principle of protection.*^ The discontented everywhere 
considered the time had now come to act. A train of events 
was set in motion in Georgia which was to decide the future 
course of the State. The occasion for the beginning was 
afforded by the gathering in August of politicians from 
throughout the State that annually took place at the com- 
mencement exercises of the University of Georgia in Athens. 
The political elements were fast shaping themselves on the ab- 
sorbing issue of nullification. The following notice appeared 
in the town: "The friends of Gen. Jackson, and those op- 
posed to the Protective System, and opposed to a redress of 
Tariff grievances by Nullification, as the mode of relief, are 
requested to attend at the New Chapel, To-Morrow, at 4 
o'clock, P. M.'' The nullifiers fearful of what might be the 
outcome of this meeting, were quick to act. They decided 
to work a strategem, by issuing a call for a meeting at the 
same time and place, with the intentions of capturing the 
organization. They posted notices requesting "All persons 
whatever who feel interested in the subject, without regard 
to any party, or present opinions ... to attend at the New 
Chapel" to discuss the "evils of the Protective System" and 
to determine methods of redress.** 

42. Banner of the Constitution (Published in Philadelphia as a free trade or low 
tariff journal), Sept. 12, 1832. 

43. It was claimed that the South would be relieved of about $3,000,000 on account 
of certain reductions in this bill. 

44. Banner of the Constitution, Aug. 22, 1832. 


The faction which had made the first call for the meeting, 
by appearing early, secured the chapel and without parlia- 
mentary action, their pre-arranged organization took control 
with William H. Crawford in the chair. The second faction 
soon appeared with numbers so great that they swamped the 
meeting. Under the leadership of John M. Berrien and Judge 
A. S. Clayton, they soon had complete control and proceeded 
to vote through their resolutions and program for future 
action. Clayton introduced a set of resolutions severely con- 
demning the tariff and calling on the counties throughout the 
State to elect delegates to a convention to meet in Milledge- 
ville "and to invest them with full powers, in behalf of the 
good People of Georgia, to maintain, preserve, and defend 
the rights and privileges of the free citizens of this State." 
A Committee of Correspondence was appointed to confer 
with other States "on all matters connected with our common 
interest." Clayton and Berrien, among others, were members 
of this committee. Thus, there was to be common action with 
other States, if possible — and on this much hope for success 
was based.^^ The Athens resolutions were sent to the differ- 
ent Southern States with the statement that "It is only by con- 
vincing our Northern brethren of our united determination 
to resist the protective system" that the evils may be 
averted. A circular letter was also sent to all the counties in 
the State asking them to hold elections in October, at the 
same time as the Congressional elections, to choose delegates 
to the Milledgeville convention.*® They were admonished to 
lay all differences "on the altar of patriotism."*' These pro- 
ceedings were stern evidence that as far as the Athens meeting 
was concerned, the stage of resolving against the tariff was 
over. A self-constituted body of men were here using the 
legal machinery of the State to hold an election for a conven- 
tion, which was extra-legal to say the least. This meeting 
attracted much attention throughout the country, and was 
considered both by its friends and foes, to be the first direct 
step toward nullification.*® The Augusta Chronicle declared 

45. Banner of the Constitution, Aug. 22, 1832 ; Phillips, Georgia and State Rights, 

46. Banner of the Constitution. Sept. 5, 1832. 

47. IMd. 

48. Richmond Enquirer, Aug. 14, 1832. 


that while the movers at Athens "did not aim or desire to 
secure the adoption of Nullification, they succeeded most tri- 
umphantly, pressed to the contest by their opponents, in put- 
ting down the opposition to it. Who can doubt that it must 
ultimately triumph, since it does triumph, so far, wherever it 
is opposed ! Let it be fairly heard by the people, and there is 
not the least doubt of the result." *^ The Richmond Enquirer 
asked "Are they for Nullification, or what are they for? And 
what do they think their fellow citizens are disposed to do in 
their convention — and will that convention be so organized 
as to give a free and full expression of the sentiments of 

The leaders in this movement believed that the iron was 
hot and that they must strike immediately for success. The 
State must be stirred up sufficiently to fall in with their scheme 
of holding county meetings for the State convention. Soon 
after the Athens meeting the same leaders directed a great 
dinner at Lexington in Oglethorpe County in honor of the 
Georgia Congressmen who voted against the tariff — exclud- 
ing those who voted for it.^^ It was estimated that more than 
a thousand people attended. They passed resolutions bitterly 
criticising the tariff "to which, as free citizens of Georgia, 
we ought not, cannot, will not, longer suhmity These were 
passed "with the most rapturous applause." A resolution was 
also passed declaring that in the event of the Federal Gov- 
ernment attempting to coerce a State they would "consider 
her defense, essential to our safety T It was decided to send 
delegates to the Milledgeville convention. The Lexington 
and Athens meetings were looked upon with misgivings by 
the more moderate elements throughout the South.®* The 
Richmond Enquirer declared that these meetings were "rash, 
passionate, and calculated to strike at the tranquility, if not 
at the integrity of the Union." ®^ 

During the next four months there was a more thorough 
searching of hearts and minds among Georgians than had 

49. Quoted in Banner vf the Constitution, Aug. 22, 1832. 

50. Aug. 21, 1832 ; quoted in Georgian, Sept. 6, 1832. 

51. Forsyth and Wayne were the two Georgia Congressmen voting for the tariff bill 
of 1832. 

52. Southern Recorder, Aug. 16, 1832 ; Phillips, Georgia and State Rights, 129. 

53. Georgian, Aug. 25, 1832. 


been the case during any equal length of time since the foun- 
dation of the State. The value of the Union was now being 
calculated with greater seriousness than ever before. The 
parting of the ways was at hand. Would Georgia destroy the 
edifice made possible by the sufferings of the Revolution and 
built on the political philosophies of Washington and Jeffer- 
son to enter onto a course of action whose ultimate result no 
one could guess? The question of nullification was destined 
to be settled before the Milledgeville convention met, in the 
expression of the people's will through these county meetings. 
Many shades of opinion existed as to the exact course of 
action that should be pursued. There was a small but per- 
sistent group for out-and-out nullification of the South Caro- 
lina variety. Others would be willing to follow some definite 
course of action, but would not go to the limits of nullifica- 
tion. These were in favor for the most part of calling a 
Southern convention to deal with the question.^* The nuUi- 
fiers had a very difficult position to sustain. They were 
accused of being for disunion and the logical result — civil 
war. They were also charged with being enemies of President 
Jackson and opposed to his re-election. Calhoun and South 
Carolina, it was said, afforded their leadership and inspira- 
tion. Under these attacks the more moderate resented the 
accusation of being for nullification; they were in favor of 
giving the people a chance to decide on a course of action in 
a convention. They, therefore, did not want parties to split 
on the question of nullification in the pre-convention meet- 
ings. °^ Thereby, they hoped to carry it in the convention — to 
hand it to the people as the work of the convention and an 
accomplished fact, and with it stampede the people. They 
would rather play strong the argument against submission, 
without naming beforehand the exact remedy. The Columbus 
Enquirer declared "The south will no longer submit. It is time 
that measures were taken to get rid of its oppressions. Let 
us then resist at once, in some shape, in such a shape as shall 

54. The Georgia Messenger said, June 21, 1832, "The crisis is rapidly coming upon 
us. ... A conciliatory spirit does not prevail upon our Northern brethren. . . . 
What remedy offers itself — Nullification? — South Carolina Nullification? — By no 
means — We are now as much as ever averse to such a recourse. ..." A con- 
vention of all the Southern States was considered to be the proper method. 

55. Southern Recorder, Sept. 13, passim, 1832. 


be most effectual, be that shape what it may — while yet our 
strength and our resources are not entirely exhausted by exac- 
tions — while yet our spirits are not humbled and subdued by 
the sense of helpless degradation." ^^ Action of some kind 
was necessary immediately. "Petitions, remonstrances and 
protests, and even threats have been made for years — and 
what has been the result?" asks the same paper.^' 

Many refused to embrace nullification as a remedy for 
fear of a civil war.^® Large numbers also refused to support 
the doctrine as it would align them against Jackson.^* The 
more conservative element, considering that Georgia had 
already shown by resolutions of her Legislature her dis- 
pleasure over the tariff as well as her opposition to nullifica- 
tion methods, believed these county meetings could not 
change the position already assumed by the State. The Geor- 
gian enquired whether "the agitators who have got up these 
meetings suppose that a few dinner speeches and dinner toasts 
are to complete such a revolution in Georgia as to make them 
embrace sentiments they have deliberately condemned, and 
cause them to hug to their bosoms the man who has been con- 
sistent in but one thing in his political life, and that is, an 
untiring hostility to Georgia and her best interests. When 
Nullification triumphs in Georgia, then will John C. Calhoun 
be triumphant, for he is identified with it." ^^ Not only were 
the county meetings bad in themselves, but the convention 
called to meet at Mi Hedge ville was particularly a dangerous 
procedure. It was assuming a legal position in State affairs 
which the Legislature alone should hold. It was especially 
dangerous to the present order on account of the "full powers 
to act" that were given to it by the call. Such powers could 
be easily abused. As argued by some, "Those invested with 

56. Columbus Enquirer (A' weekly paper, edited by James N. Bethune at Columbus, 
Georgia, with strong nullification leanings), April 28, 1832. 

57. Ibid., Sept. 15. 

58. William H. Crawford, although strongly opposed to nullification, did not think 
it would produce civil war. He opposed it as not being constitutional. Banner 
of the Constitution, Oct. 31, 1832. Judge A. S. Clayton, a strong nullifier, said, 
"I advise, then, the most peaceful remedy, and strange as to some it may seem, 
I advise NULLIFICATION." Southern Sentinel (Greenville, S. C), July 28, 
1832, quoted in Macon Telegraph (A weekly published by Myron Bartlett at 
Macon, Georgia — name changed to Georgia Telegraph, Oct. 3, 1832), Aug. 8, 

59. Troup said, "The cause of nullification is so generally connected with hostility to 
the President, that even if it were more tenable, it would expose to jealousy any 
politician in Georgia who would seem to favor it." Harden, Life of Troup, 515. 

60. Georgian, Aug. 23, 1832. 


them might nullify the laws both of the Union & of Georgia 
— they might declare war or proclaim a secession — they 
might confiscate the estates, or shed the blood of their politi- 
cal opponents." ^^ 

But the pohtical ardor of the people was so great that 
meetings began to spring up throughout the State. ^^ The 
attempted movement of the more conservative element to 
stave off these meetings altogether, and thereby, prevent the 
election of delegates, having failed, they decided to do the 
next best thing. They would advocate the holding of conven- 
tions in every county and attempt to capture the organization 
in every case and use it against nullification. The Federal 
Union, one of the strongest Union papers in the State, came 
out for this plan.^^ The nuUifiers naturally attempted to con- 
trol the meetings to the end of having them declare for nulli- 
fication. The Federal Union declared, "The three or four 
leading nullifiers intended to lay out their strength in the Con- 
vention — and it is for this purpose that Jones, and Clayton, 
and Berrien have been riding through the State to inflame the 
minds of the people to the right heat." ^* The county meet- 
ings, following one another in rapid succession, adhered very 
closely to the same program. Without an exception they de- 
clared their hostility to the tariff; but the great majority of 
them declared specifically against nullification as the remedy. 
The Walton County meeting is typical on this. It resolved 
"That we are opposed to Nullification as the mode of redress 
for our grievances, forasmuch as we consider it neither con- 
stitutional nor peaceable, as it must, in the very nature of 
things, bring us directly in collision with the General Govern- 
ment, and end in a state of open war." ®^ Most of the meet- 

61. Editorial in Augusta Constitutionalist, quoted in Georgian, Aug. 21, 1832. Also 
see Georgian, Aug. 23. 

62. According to the Macon Telegraph, Sept. 5, 1832, "Anti-Tariff and Anti-Nullifi- 
cation meetings are becoming so common that if we published the proceedings 
of all, our paper would contain little else." 

63. The newspapers played a very important part in the nullification movement, both 
moulding and mirroring public opinion. Appreciating this fact, the Morgan 
County meeting resolved, "That we rejoice to perceive the leading newspaper 
editors of this State using their best exertions to enlighten and not inflame the 
public mind on the subject of Southern suffering. Such a press cannot be intimi- 
dated by the intemperate feeling or subsidized by corrupt overtures of any sort." 
Georgian, Sept. 11, 1832, Richmond Enquirer, Aug. 31, 1832. 

64. Quoted ibid. 

65. Banner of the Constitution, Sept. 5, 1832. In speaking of these county meetings 
Niles* Register, Vol. 43, p. 19, says ". . . the people of Georgia, though opposed 
to the tariff, appear more opposed to nullification. There had been several great 
meetings at which this heresy was utterly prostrated." 


ings passed resolutions favoring the re-election of Jackson. 
However strongly they sympathized with nullification, they 
were not yet willing to desert the President, even though he 
had offered the toast: "The Union, it must be preserved." 
The Camden County meeting which did not recommend 
Jackson for re-election, was declared to be wholly unrepre- 
sentative of the county. The charge was made that it was 
composed principally of the seven road commissioners, who 
resolved themselves into the meeting after transacting their 
usual business.^® Another meeting was soon held for this 
county, which declared that nullification was, after all, a 
British plot to destroy the United States, and resolved that 
"the insidious and Siren tongue of Nullification, as it effects 
the ears of many citizens, is as deceptive, as it would be de- 
structive to our happiness, and ruinous to our country." ^' 
Resolutions were frequently passed declaring continued sup- 
port for and confidence in Forsyth and Wayne, who had voted 
for the tariff bill of 1832 and who had been so bitterly 
attacked by the nullifiers. The Richmond County meeting at 
Augusta declared they "retain our entire confidence in their 
patriotism, ability and zeal." ®® Some of the counties were 
so much opposed to nullification that they refused to send 
delegates at all. Chatham County called a meeting which 
opposed nullification and all movements leading in that direc- 
tion and voted to elect no delegates. Later another meeting 
was called in Savannah to reconsider. The decision was made 
final against participating in the Milledgeville procedures.®^ 
According to the Georgian, "The People of Savannah are 
like the handle of a pitcher, all 'on one side'," and that "is not 
the Nullification side." '^^ Other counties believing that they 
would be playing into the hands of the nullifiers, if they 
refused to take part in the State convention, decided to elect 
delegates to go there to combat the heresy, and if nullification 
were adopted, they were to withdraw from the convention. 
Pulaski County, as was the case with many others, decided to 

66. Georgian, Oct. 11, 1832. 

67. Georgian, Sept. 20, 1832. 

68. "These resolutions were carried by vast majorities, approaching unanimity and 
the denunciation of Nullification was overwhelming." Ihid., Aug. 23. 

69. Ibid., Aug. 30, Oct. 11. Forsyth County also refused to send delegates. See ihid., 
Nov. 16, 1832. 

70. Ihid.. Aug. 28. 


send delegates, but insisted that whatever action should be 
taken at Milledgeville, should be referred back to the State 
for ratification. In this way they hoped to block the dangers 
adhering to the convention's "full powers to act." '"■ Pure 
nullification sentiments were expressed only in a few instances. 
The Bibb County meeting held in Macon, declared "that the 
people are sensible of the oppressiveness of their burdens — 
that they will no longer submit to evils that are no longer 
sufferable — and that they are willing to adopt the most speedy 
and practical mode of redress." '^ Muscogee County, in a 
dinner invitation to many South Carolinians and Alabamians, 
declared the tariff "in plain language is null and void." ^^ 
The grand jury of the same county presented the tariff as a 
grievance and declared that "resistance may save us, submis- 
sion will not avert the evil." '* 

A few other counties were bellicose in their attitude ; but 
the great majority of them stood strongly for the Union, at 
the same time roundly denouncing the tariff evils. ''^ The nulli- 
fication propagandists were early declared to have met with 
failure. According to the Macon Telegraph, "Their repulse 
in Twiggs, Jones, Baldwin, &, &, must have astonished these 
travelling preachers." It continued, "The Disunionists are 
wonderfully cooled down, of late. They find the thing does 
not take as they anticipated. The people are yet too stubborn, 
to be led by the nose, blindfolded, into such a business. And 
those at first so loud, so warm, in the cause of nullification, 
now begin to sing small. They have no idea of war and 
bloodshed — their resistance is all peaceable — a civil war they 
have not thought of — a separation of the states they do not 
wish for." ^® The Federal Union enthusiastically interpreted 

71. Georgian, Sept. 25, 1832. The Macon Telegraph denounced the convention and 
counselled the people to have nothing to do with it : "As it cannot be a full one 
— as it will not be a fair one — as it will be illegal — ^as it will be incompetent to 
afford any relief — it will be safer to leave the matter altogether to the Legisla- 
ture, whose members will be elected at the same time, and will be equally well 
acquainted with the feelings and wishes of the people on the subject. If the Nulli- 
fiers want a convention, let them have one ; but the Union men should have 
nothing to do with it." Sept. 5, 1832. 

72. Banner of the Constitution, Sept. 5, 1832. 

73. Southern Recorder, Sept. 6, 1832. At this meeting, hoping to shake off the South 
Carolina stigma, they declared they stood for nullification as Jefferson argued it, 
and not in the way Calhoun would have it. Columbus Enquirer, Sept. 1, 22, 1832. 

74. Banner of the Constitution, Sept. 5, 1832. 

75. Georgian, Sept. 4, 8, 11, 13, 18, 20, 22, 25, Oct, 4 ; Banner of the Constitution. 
Sept. 12, 1832. 

76. Sept. 12, 1832. 


every meeting to be against nullification which did not specifi- 
cally declare for it by name. The editor somewhat overdrew 
the picture in this glowing summary: "The project has 
already failed every where, but in Clarke and Oglethorpe. 
And why did it succeed there ? Because the Nullies all assem- 
bled at Athens and Lexington. Those assemblies were not 
made up of the people of those two countries — they did not 
represent the true voices of those counties. It has failed in 
Bibb, in Jasper, in Hall, in Walton, in Coweta, in Richmond 
(Augusta). It will fail in all the most populous counties of 
the up-country. It cannot live in the mountainous air — it will 
not even find an infected district there — it has died in the 
middle grounds — and should it ever reach them, the pine 
woods will murder it, as quick as they would a wolf or a 
panther, from Wilkinson, Houston, and Dooly to the Florida 
line and the east coast." '^ 

The general elections carried out in October were instru- 
mental in giving wholesome direction to the people's thoughts 
and in giving some indication as to how the state stood on 
nullification. In reality the campaign was more valuable as 
an educating force than the actual election returns a sure indi- 
cation. Those opposed to nullification took the offensive and 
carried on an effective campaign against the nullifiers. The 
latter were branded as "opponents to President Jackson's 
administration, as adherents to John C. Calhoun, and as 
traitors to their country." '« They were accused of proscrib- 
ing two of Georgia's most fearless men and patriots for 
voting in favor of the tariff bill of 1832.'* The Richmond 
County meeting in Augusta made an effort to force the can- 
didates for Congress to run on a platform of principles rather 
than on the blind popularity of being a Troup or a Clark 
man. Most of them were smoked out of their hiding places, 
and some in long and laborious reasoning attempted to ob- 
scure in words their real position.®^ Judge Clayton and Sea- 
born Jones came out for doctrines easily construed into nulli- 

77. Quoted in Richmond Enquirer, Aug. 31, 1832. 

78. Georgia Messenger, Sept. 27, 1832. At this election members of Congress, of the 
State Legislature, and for the Milledgeville convention were chosen. 

79. Forsyth and Wayne were the two Georgia Congressmen who had voted for the 
tariff bill of 1832. 

80. Banner of the Constitution, Oct, 31, 1832. 


lication. This new procedure of forcing a candidate to tell 
what he stood for was resented by many. Why should not the 
knowledge of a candidate's being either a Troup or a Clark 
man be sufficient? The Monroe County meeting condemned 
the ^^ pros crip tive resolutions of the late meeting at Augusta, 
which has clothed a Committee of Three with the authority 
of catechising our candidates for Congress and the State 
Legislature, on the subject of political faith. . . ." ®^ 

The Clark party bore the general reputation of standing 
out for the Union with more devotion than the Troup men. 
They first discovered the effectiveness of the argument that 
could be wielded against nullification, and so they eagerly 
seized it to use against the Troup party. Many of the latter 
strongly denied being In favor of nullification — they were 
only standing up for the rights of the States.®^ In reality the 
old unreasoning personal attachments were crumbling In both 
parties before the more rational views on measures. An 
appeal was made to both parties by strong Union men to 
"Forget your differences. Unite In one cause — and arrest the 
fatal delusion, which threatens to leave you nothing worth 
quarelling about In the future. Select Union Men from your 
mutual ranks, and give them your hearty support." *^ The 
election returns for Congressmen meant little. The move- 
ment toward party disintegration had started too late to get 
very far before this election. A majority of those elected 
were Troup men, and according to the Georgia Telegraph, 
"though ostensibly the contest has been all about measures. It 
would seem by the result to be all about men. Thus Wayne 
and Wilde have been elected because they were not nulllfiers, 
and Clayton and Jones, (by the same party), because they 
were!"^* In the election of delegates for the MllledgevIUe 
convention, the nulllfiers found little consolation. Of the 
counties that elected delegates, many stood out against this 
doctrine. Twenty counties refused to take any part whatso- 

81. Georgian, Sept. 4, 15 ; Macon Telegraph, Sept. 5, 1832. 

82. Southern Recorder, Aug. 30 ; Georgian, Sept. 25, 1832. 

83. Richmond Enquirer, Aug. 14, 1832. 

84. Oct. 17, 1832 ; Richmond Enquirer, Nov. 6. 1832. The Augusta Courier believed 
"This election furnishes no evidence of the State's sentiments in regard to the 
politics of the day. It was a common thing at the election to hear Union men 
saying, I cannot give up men with whom I have acted all my life." Quoted in 
Niles' Register, Vol. 43, p. 41, also see pp. 83, 118. 


ever in the convention, through the non-election of delegates. 
This was generally interpreted to mean that they were op- 
posed to nullification.®^ The ardor of the strongest nullifiers 
was much dampened. The Augusta Chronicle, which had been 
preaching straightout nullification since the subject had be- 
come uppermost in South Carolina, greatly calmed down. 
"For our own part," it said, "we have no attachment to 
Nullification, beyond an honest conviction of its truth and 
efficacy, and if convinced of its error or inefficiency, would 
unhesitatingly and publicly abandon it in a moment." ®® 

The convention came together in Milledgeville on Novem- 
ber 12, with 131 delegates present representing sixty counties 
out of the eighty at that time. The State House of Represen- 
tatives, which had already begun its session, after a sharp 
debate agreed to let the convention use its chamber. Many 
legislators opposed this action for fear it might mean the 
recognition of the convention.®^ The political ability and 
statesmanship of the State were here gathered together.®® 
South Carolina, whose nullification convention had not yet 
met, was watching closely. Two South Carolina representa- 
tives. Chancellor Harper and David Johnson, representing 
the State Rights and Union parties respectively, were ad- 
mitted to the floor.®^ The strong State rights element cap- 
tured the meeting at the start. Ex-Governor Gilmer was made 
chairman, and a steering committee of twenty-one was ap- 
pointed. A motion to postpone the selection of this committee 
was defeated by a vote of 52 to 67, the former number repre- 
senting the full strength of the Union men.^** Forsyth, fearing 

85. The Constitutionailst, October 16, 1832, declared that "The general indifference, 
if not aversion, to the proposed Convention in our State, evidenced by the non- 
election of delegates, is a very satisfactory proof that Georgia is not at all dis- 
posed to any violent policy." 

86. Oct. 20. 1832. 

87. Niles' Register, Vol. 43, p. 194; L. L. Knight, Georgia and Georgians (Chicago, 
1917), I, 569, 570; Constitutionalist. Dec. 7, 1832. 

88. The hostile Macon Telegraph said, "The little politicians, who make such con- 
spicuous figures in their own domestic spheres at home, and have tried to swell 
themselves into consequence here, are brought down to their own level. By the 
side of Forsyth and Berrien, and Cumming, &., &., they shrink into the shade, 
like stars at noonday. Berrien is the great luminary of the nullifiers, around 
whom the lesser lights move at an hunmble distance. . . ." This paper continued 
in a ridiculous vain, "And yet, this august assembly has done little else than look 
at each other, and themselves — drink apple toddy, and visit the theatre. Some 
speechifying has taken place upon preliminary questions, in which several dele- 
gates distinguished themselves beyond all conception, and fairly astonished them- 
selves by the overwhelming floods of their own oratory." Nov. 21, 1832. 

89. Southern Recorder, Nov. 22, 1832. 

90. Ibid., Nov. 15. 


that the convention might attempt to force through a radical 
program, immediately began obstructionist moves. He intro- 
duced a motion to appoint a committee of five to thoroughly 
examine the credentials of the delegates, the resolutions 
under which they were elected, the number of votes given 
them at the election, and the full number of voters in every 
county; also requiring a submission of the correspondence 
carried on with other States by the committee appointed at 
the original Athens meeting. The last feature was, undoubt- 
edly, an attempt to unearth the part South Carolina had been 
playing in the movement, and, thereby prejudice the conven- 
tion against nullification at the very beginning. This motion 
was defeated after a long and memorable debate, whereupon 
Forsyth after offering a protest Avhich was not allowed to be 
read, followed by fifty others, solemnly and silently arose and 
marched from the hall. This secession was permanent. After 
the adoption of a series of seventeen resolutions, the conven- 
tion adjourned on the seventeenth. "The Rump Convention 
has just adjourned," said the Georgia Telegraph, " — Their 
actings and doings, and all their mighty works will doubtless 
be found in the books of the Chronicles. . . Thus has ended 
this great bubble. Well may it be said, a mountain was in 
labor, and brought forth a mouse!" ^^ 

This secession together with the general attitude of oppo- 
sition the State had shown in numerous ways, greatly sobered 
the convention. As to its Union principles, it resolved, "That 
the people of Georgia are sincerely attached to the Federal 
Constitution and to the Union of these States. . . ." It also 
assumed a conciliatory attitude toward the tariff and the 
manufacturer. It declared that "they are willing that the 
reduction and equalization of duties which they ask should 
be prospective and gradual, and fearfully admonished, as 
they have been by experience of the fallacy of their past 
hopes for rehef from the evils under which they suffer, they 

91. Southern Recorder, Nov. 22, 1832. David Johnson, the representative of the 
Union Party of South Carolina, left the hall with the seceders. The refusal of 
the convention to allow Forsyth's protest to be read was a clever move of Ber- 
rien's. By refusing to have it read, he thereby prevented any official note benig 
taken of its content, and kept it from being broadcast over the State with the 
journals of the meeting. S. F. Miller, Bench and Bar in Georgia (Philadelphia, 
1858), II, 31-34. Twenty thousand copies of the proceedings of the convention 
were ordered printed and distributed. Georgia Telegraph, Nov. 21, 1832. 


will Still look to the justice and patriotism of their brethren 
of the manufacturing states." ^^ 

The adjournment was not sine die, as was to be expected, 
but only for eight months. This would be a standing threat, 
it was supposed, unless a change were brought about in the 
tariff. This line of procedure aroused the strong opposition 
of many Georgians, who declared that it was an unheard-of 
thing and a revolutionary performance. In the meantime, the 
meeting would take the sense of the people on the work 
already accomplished. Books were to be opened in every 
county to receive the signatures of approval or disapproval 
of the convention's action. If a majority should be found in 
support of the convention, then in the following February 
(1833) an election was to be held to select eleven delegates 
to a Southern convention. This convention was to be com- 
posed of representatives from as many Southern States as 
could be induced to enter the movement.''^ Some believed 
this was only another attempt to join Georgia with South 
Carolina, as it was possible that these would be the only 
States that would act."* Before adjourning the convention 
appointed a committee of five of which Berrien and Clayton 
were members "to prepare an address to the people of Geor- 
gia, illustrating the objects and proceedings of that body." 
It published a long address against the tariff, supporting a 
Southern convention as the remedy. 

Upon the withdrawal of the Forsyth delegates from the 
convention they began a strong campaign of opposition 
against the work of that body. The protest offered by For- 
syth on withdrawing, which the convention refused to have 
read and thereby incorporated into its proceedings, recited 
the charges that impelled the secession. It declared that the 
convention represented a minority of the people of the State, 
despite the claims of some supporters that the delegates rep- 
resented "three-fourths, if not four-fifths, or five-sixths" of 

92. Southern Recorder, Nov. 22, 1382 ; Jan. 10, 1833. 

93. Ibid., Nov. 22, 1832 

94. "In .such a scheme," a committee of the Forsyth seceders maintained, "we can 
perceive only the convenient means of drawing Georgia into a league with the 
nullifiers of South Carolina." Ibid., Dec. 13, 1832; Columbus Enquirer, Dec. 15, 


the total population.''^ It also charged that twenty counties 
"disapprove the convention by declining to elect delegates," 
and that the convention stood convicted of a guilty conscience 
in refusing to allow the credentials of its membership to be 
scrutinized.^^ The Forsyth seceders issued later an address 
to the people denouncing the convention's proceedings as de- 
signed "to bring Georgia into the toils of South Carolina, and 
deliver her people en masse to the demon of nullification," 
and declaring that "the union is in danger" and that the 
"energy of every friend to the union is demanded to counter- 
act and defeat the impending evil." ^^ The convention sup- 
porters defended their position with energy. They claimed 
that of all times when Georgia should be most united and 
determined, certain factions were dissipating the strength of 
the State's protest, "that they have sought, and have in some 
degree succeeded in drawing a line where none should exist. ^* 
They declared that Forsyth had adopted a rule or ruin policy, 
"improper, unwise, and against the best interests of the coun- 
try, and deserving the disapprobation of the people.'' ^^ They 
accused them of being vile submissionists who would not even 
go so far as to endorse a Southern convention. " 'We have 
fallen on evil times.' — ", bemoans the Georgia Messenger, 
"Georgia expects every citizen to do his duty — the watchword 


STATE RIGHTS will Support the proceedings of the Convention 
— he that is for vile submission will follow the seceders. "^**^ 

95. Southern Redorder, Jan. 10, 1833 ; Dec. 20, 1832 ; Georgian, Nov. 17, 1832 ; 
Niles' Register, Vol. 43, pp. 221, 222. The convention supporters claimed that 
out of a total population of 444,164 the delegates to the convention represented 
305,552. Georgian, Nov. 16, 1832. An address issued by the seceders said, "If 
they are to try so vital a question in their own form, by their own agents, and 
to be themselves the final judges of the decision, what is there which a minority 
may not assume?" Columbus Enquirer, Dec. 15, 1832. For a time the chief issue 
in party politics was the withdrawal of the Forsyth faction. Numerous county 
meetings were held on the question. The Monroe County meeting resolved that 
South Carolina had "rushed upon a rash, unconstitutional and dangerous policy 
— one calculated to destroy the fairest hopes of liberty and subvert the wisest, 
happiest Government ever devised by the wisdom of man. . . ." It highly ap- 
proved the course of Forsyth. Miller, Bench and Bar in Georgia, II, 34, 35. 

96. Niles' Register, Vol. 43, 221, 222. 

97. Ibid., 231. 

98. Georgian, Nov. 23, 1832. 

99. Southern Recorder, Dec. 13, 20, 1832. 

100. Nov. 22, 1832. The Athens Banner, quoted in Gorgian, Dec. 18, 1832, in speak- 
ing of the proposed Southern convention, said, "He who can object to this mild 
procedure is prepared for slavish submission ; and yet Mr. Forsyth, Col. Gum- 
ming and Alfred Guthbert could not venture even to deliberate with those who 
suggested action so revolutionary as this." 


The burning question of discussion after adjournment soon 
came to be, whether or not the convention declared for nulli- 
fication, and even if it did not, whether it was not strongly in 
sympathy with it. The fifth resolution came exceedingly close 
to a declaration of these doctrines. It declared that the 
powers to interpret the Federal Constitution "cannot belong 
to the agent, since that would be to substitute his judgment 
for the constitutional limitation, and that in the absence of 
a common arbiter expressly designated by the Constitution 
for this purpose. Each State as such, and in virtue of its 
sovereignty is necessarily admitted to the exercise of that 
right." William H. Crawford claimed that this was nullifi- 
cation.^**^ Berrien quickly denied the charge. He claimed the 
resolutions went no further than the Georgia Legislature had 
gone in 1828 and at other times.^**^ There were many others 
like Berrien, men who had an extreme hatred for the tariff 
and a strong desire to uphold the ultimate right of a State to 
judge a Federal law, but who were not willing to bear the 
incubus of being nullifiers. There was likewise a considerable 
group, though fewer in numbers, who declared that the con- 
vention had nullified the tariff, and that it did the proper 
thing. The Columhia Times, a South Carolina paper, de- 
clared, "Nullification is not avowed by name in the report, 
but it is therein resolved that in the last resort, the States, and 
not the General Government, have the right to judge of 
infractions of the Constitution, and to choose the mode of 
redress. This is the most important principle of the Nullifiers 
of South Carolina. . . ." The Constitutionalist agreed with 
this statement, claiming that "Nullification was as unequivo- 
cally maintained ... as if avowed by name."^**^ The Macon 
Telegraph declared that though the resolutions "go against 
the Tariff, and in favor of a Southern Convention, which is 

101. Georgian, Nov. 21, 1832. In a letter to John Taylor, Crawford said, "I hold 
that no State shall stand justified in the sight of Heaven who shall resort to 
revolutionary measures to change the existing order of things until it has ex- 
hausted all constitutional measures of obtaining redress. That nullification and 
seceding from the Union are revolutionary measures cannot, I think, admit of 
a rational doubt. The strongest objection I have to the Carolina doctrine is that 
its authors have deceitfully and hypocritically represented both measures to be 
constitutional and peaceable. They must have known better, and therefore acted 
dishonestly." Shipp, Life of William H. Crawford, 208. 

102. Southern Recorder, Dec. 20, 1832. 

103. Nov. 30, 1832. 


well enough, they breathe nullification and sedition from be- 
ginning to end." ^"^^ 

Two days after the Milledgeville convention adjourned, 
South Carolina's nullification convention met. There was a 
certain underground connection between the nullification sym- 
pathizers in both States, which had indications in the presence 
of Chancellor Harper in the Georgia meeting. It was charged 
by some Georgians that the Milledgeville nuUifiers sent a 
messenger to the South Carolina convention urging it to 
adopt nullification as a method to stir up and inflame Georgia 
in that direction.^^^ But the work and importance of the 
Milledgeville convention rapidly melted away. In most of 
the counties the books for signatures were never opened. An 
effort was made in Muscogee County to take the popular 
will; but no report on the attempt seems to have ever been 
made.^"^ The committee appointed to hold the polls in Ogle- 
thorpe County resigned with the explanation "that events, 
subsequent to their adjournment, have entirely changed the 
aspect of political affairs, and are now calling for other and 
speedier remedies, than those they proposed."^**' Judge Ber- 
rien laboriously defended the convention, stating that subse- 
quent events rendered the fulfillment of its program unneces- 
^j.y 108 gy^ [^ general the convention came to be to those 
who had fathered it a greater liability than an asset. 

The popular spontaneous method, more or less induced by 
self-appointed leaders, of dealing with the tariff and Federal 
relations, had, thus, to a great extent, failed to produce tang- 
ible results. The attitude of the people as expressed in their 
political and governmental organization played a very im- 
portant part. Governor Lumpkin, elected through a strong 
sentiment against nullification, carried out a consistent pro- 
gram of opposition to it. His annual message of November, 
1832, on the eve of the meeting of the Milledgeville conven- 
tion, carried a strong indictment of the heresy. "The mystical 
doctrine of nullification," he said, "as contended for by its 

104. Nov. 21, 1832. 

105. Richmond Enquirer, Dec, 15, 1832. 

106. Miller, Bench and Bar in Georgia, 1, 40 ; Columbus Enquirer, March 30, 1833. 

107. Southern Recorder, Jan. 10, 1833. 

108. Ibid., July 24, 1833. 


advocates, has only tended to bewilder the minds of the 
people, inflame their passions, and prepare them for anarchy 
and revolution. Wherever it spreads, it engenders the most 
bitter strifes and animosities, and dissolves the most endear- 
ing relations of life. I believe nullification to be unsound, 
dangerous and delusive, in practice as well as theory." He 
counselled that "forbearance and moderation be made mani- 
fest to the whole Union, before we enter upon any doubtful 
or violent remedy calculated to jeopardize the existence of 
the Federal Union itself. "^<*^ This attack by the governor of 
the State undoubtedly had a tremendous sobering effect on 
many of the delegates who were soon to meet in the very hall 
where the message had been read. How could an extra-legal 
body, with doubts as to its representing the people of the 
State, expect to succeed in forcing nullification on the State in 
the face of such certain opposition from the State govern- 
ment? Well may the convention have pondered on the suc- 
cess of such a venture. 

The Legislature, thus in session during the period of the 
convention, was able to follow with a critical eye every move 
of that body. As soon as the convention adjourned, its work 
became the subject of the most bitter discussion in the Legis- 
lature, almost to the exclusion of ordinary business. Many 
legislators resented the apparent usurpation by an extra-legal 
convention of powers that they considered belonged to their 
body. A set of resolutions, known as the Ryan resolutions, 
was introduced in the latter part of November and passed by 
both houses soon thereafter. In a very positive tone, they 
condemned the recent convention, and declared for a conven- 
tion of the Southern States with certain limitations to settle 
the disturbing questions. It was resolved, "That we earnestly 
advise our fellow-citizens, not to give their votes on the Reso- 
lutions of the Convention recently adjourned, as therein pro- 
posed. The Convention manifestly consisted of delegates 
from a minority of the people ; yet they submit their acts for 
ratification to the whole people, according to a form, con- 
trived by themselves through the agency of persons appointed 
by themselves, while they themselves remain final judges of 

109. Lumpkin, Removal of the Cherokee Indians, I, 122, 124. 


the ratification proposed. ^^** As a method of tariff redress, 
a Southern convention was proposed, to be made up of repre- 
sentatives from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carohna, 
Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi. This would 
secure common action, which was one of the cardinal princi- 
ples of the Union element. It was specifically stated that 
''The Convention shall not take place unless five States of the 
six, which it is proposed to invite, assent to the proposal.""^ 
This was in conformity with Governor Lumpkin's views that 
it was not advisable "for a single State, upon her separate 
action, to undertake to force a redress of grievances from the 
Federal Government, while her sister States equally inter- 
ested, are not even consulted as to the policy to be pursued. 
. . . Separate action upon this subject is calculated to en- 
gender strife and disunion, anarchy and confusion among 
brethren of the same principles." "^ 

The Legislature was in no mood of toleration. It passed 
the Ryan resolutions in the Senate 49 to 29 and in the House 
97 to 57. It rejected by large majorities less severe resolu- 
tions. It paid its compliments to nullification thus : "Resolved, 
That we abhor the doctrine of Nullification as neither a 
peaceable, nor a constitutional remedy, but, on the contrary, 
as tending to civil commotion and disunion; and while we 
deplore the rash and revolutionary measures, recently 
adopted by a convention of the people of South Carolina, we 
deem it as paramount duty to warn our fellow citizens against 
the danger of adopting her mischievous policy.""^ Jackson's 
nullification proclamation of December loth was heartily 
concurred in. The Senate believing it to be its "bounden duty 
to disseminate, forthwith, the views and determinations of 
the President on this momentous and melancholy catastrophe, 
amongst the good people of this State," resolved to have four 
thousand copies of the proclamation printed for the Senators 
to distribute."* A few days previous to this. Governor Lump- 
kin placed before the Legislature the proceedings of the 

110. Niles' Register, Vol. 43, pp. 279, 280 ; Southern Reaorder, Nov. 29, 1832. 

111. Georgian, Dec. 3, 1882 ; Ames, State Documents, 179. 

112. Lumpkin, Removal of the Cherokees, I, 123. 

113. Ames, State Documents, 180 ; Niles' Register, Vol. 43, 280 ; Southern Recorder, 
Dec. 6, 27, 1832. 

114. Southern Recorder, Dec. 27, 1832 ; Georgia Messenger, Dec. 27, 1832. 


South Carolina nullification convention without comment, 
taking occasion, however, to quote sentiments for the Union 
from Washington's Farewell Address.^^^ 

This whole line of procedure was bitterly resented by 
those who had supported the Milledgeville convention. They 
interpreted it as a studied effort to discredit and destroy them, 
rather than as expressions of political convictions or love for 
the Union. They declared that the Ryan resolutions were 
hatched secretly in the dead of night in a dingy Milledgeville 
tavern by Dennis L. Ryan and the Forsyth seceders. The 
Legislature was accused of having ''thrown a fire-brand 
among the people, wantonly insulted a large portion of their 
fellow-citizens, and denounced a sovereign State." ^^® As for 
the Southern convention proposed by the Legislature, it was 
an effort to defeat the will of the people since it would be an 
impossibility to assemble one on that plan."' The convention 
proposed by the nullification sympathizers would be compe- 
tent to proceed when two or more States should be repre- 
sented. As before stated, the convention provided for by the 
Ryan resolutions required six States to be present before the 
convention should be able to transact business. This limita- 
tion was especially designed to prevent any danger of South 
Carolina and Georgia nullifiers uniting forces and proceed- 
ing to nullify in the name of a Southern convention. Against 
Jackson's nullification proclamation and the action of the 
Georgia Legislature concerning it, the Georgia nullifiers were 
equally bitter. Said one, "It is Jackson who issued it, and 
because it is Jackson, both our Governor and Legislature sit 
as tamely under it, as if nothing had happened. . . . Jackson 
has done much for the country, for which he is entitled to, 
and possesses our gratitude ; but if he had done ten thousand 
times as much, this Proclamation should not be submitted 
to.""* A Clarke County meeting declared it was a "high- 
handed assumption of unconstitutional power," and refused 

115. Niles' Register, Vol. 43, p. 280. 

116. Georpia Messenger, Dec. 20, 1832. 

117. Southern Recorder, Dec. 6, 1832. 

118. Soiithern Recorder, Jan. 3, 1833 ; Feb. 20. Many with great reluctance found 
themselves disagreeing with Jackson. They felt that he had deserted Georgians 
generally. Said the Southern Recorder, Dec. 27, 1832, "The President goes alike 
against Unionists and Nullifiers ; and is directly at war with all the State Right 
defenders, the Jeffersonian Republicans." Also see ibid., Feb, 20, 1833. 


by an overwhelming majority to pass resolutions against 
nullification and in support of Jackson. 

South Carolina in her course of nullification had not only 
succeeded in drawing from Jackson his proclamation in De- 
cember, but had also provoked in the following March the 
passage of the so-called Force Bill. Georgia nullification 
sympathizers immediately began to solemnly protest against 
it. Citizens of Taliaferro County, in a meeting, declared 
that this "bloody bill" was "arbitrary and despotic, and 
amounts virtually to a repeal of the constitution.""^ Dinners 
were given to the Congressmen who voted against the bill 
where Forsyth and Wayne, who voted for it, were severely 
condemned. In Macon, Forsyth was burned in effigy. The 
grand jury of one county presented him for his vote and 
demanded his resignation, declaring that they could not "find 
language strong enough to express our disapprobation of 
such apostate conduct. . . ."^^^ The grand jury of another 
county declared that it could not "forget to present the names 
of those Georgia Representatives, who have deceived their 
constituents, and identified themselves with the Ultra-Feder- 
alists, Tariffites, and Blue-light gentry of the North. . . . Mr. 
Wayne is a satellite of Mr. Forsyth, and a sycophant admirer 
and favorite of Andrew Jackson." ^-^ 

The hand of South Carolina was not altogether absent 
from many of these later doings in Georgia, where she still 
had many sympathizers. A meeting of Troup County citizens 
in December, 1 832, resolved that South Carolina's cause was 
their cause and that they could not "remain indifferent spec- 
tators of a contest between the state of South Carolina and 
the general government." ^^^ The students at the University 
of Georgia declared that they viewed "with joy the proud 
stand taken by Carolina against federal usurpation, and 
reprobate the character of the resolutions passed by our de- 
luded legislature. . . ."^"^ Newspaper support was also not 

119. Niles' Register, Vol, 44, 202. 

120. IHd., 107, 115 ; Southern Recorder, Oct. 16, 1833. A minority of the jurors dis- 
sented, deploring "the introduction of politics in our presentments." 

121. Southern Recorder, April 24, 1833. Troup, who was at this time a United States 
Senator, said, "If on my death-bed, I would have been carried there to vote 
against it." He was here referring to the Force Bill. Harden, Life of George M. 
Tr^oup, 518, 519. 

122. Georgia Messenger, Jan. 24, 1833. 

123. Ibid., Feb. 21. 


lacking. "Let the world know," warns the Georgia Messen- 
ger, 'That Carolina shall not be put down for resent- 
ing the unlawful exercise of undelegated power, so long as 
Georgia can raise an arm in her defense. . . ." It counselled 
that sentiments of resistance should "echo from the Chatta- 
hoochee to the Savannah, and reverberate from the moun- 
tains to the sea-board, and you may yet he freeJ^^^"^ This 
sympathy and support was loud and persistent but its follow- 
ing was small. The great majority agreed with the Georgia 
Telegraph that "South Carolina stands on the brink of a 
frightful precipice — if she chooses to leap off, it is her busi- 
ness — though we hope she may survive the experiment. Be- 
cause Sam Patch jumped down the Cataract of Niagara, is 
no reason that everybody should." ^^^ 

The most bitterly attacked move made by South Carolina 
during the period directly following her nullification of the 
tariff was the appearance of George McDuffie as chief 
speaker at the commencement exercises of the University of 
Georgia in August of 1833. He was secured by the nullifica- 
tion sympathizers of the State, and was, according to report, 
to have been accompanied by Calhoun. The latter did not 
appear. In his address McDuffie praised South Carolina's 
course and condemned Jackson and the Federal Govern- 
ment. He took particular pains to ridicule the spineless indi- 
viduals who professed State rights principles but never 
favored acting on them. According to the Georgia Messen- 
ger, "He said it was true he knew some who said, in case of 
palpable and oppressive violations of the Constitution of the 
United States by Congress, that they would petition, and if 
that would not do, why then they would remonstrate, and if 
that did not answer and remove the unconstitutional oppres- 
sion, why they would protest.''^-'' The appearance of McDuffie 
in Georgia and especially the content of his speech created a 
great uproar in State politics. The explanations that he was 
a Georgian by birth and that he appeared at the commence- 
ment on account of the graduation of a kinsman were de- 
clared beside the point. The Union men claimed that Calhoun 

124. Ibid.. Jan. 3. 

125. Dec. 12, 1832. 

126. Aug. 15, 1833 ; Southern Recorder, Aug. 28, 1833. 


and McDuffie were meddling In Georgia politics and that 
they had almost taken "the lead In the present electioneering 
campaign from the hands of our own citizens, and In our own 
state. "^^' "If the nulllfiers can prove to us," said the Con- 
stitutionalist, "that the talents of Mr. Calhoun, General 
Hamilton, or Mr. McDuffie, are far superior to those pos- 
sessed by any of our Georgians, there might be some excuse 
for calling on these gentlemen to meddle with our local par- 
ties. "^^'^ The grand jury of Talbot County made this med- 
dling the subject of a presentment, warning "our fellow- 
cltlzens, to watch their movements with a jealous eye, as 
treason not unfrequently lurks under the garb of professed 
patriotism."^-® Governor Lumpkin wrote Lewis Cass that 
he was "fully aware and alive to the unhallowed and unprin- 
cipled course now In operation, by the nulllfiers, and old 
friends of the Hartford Convention, and the great efforts 
now making by their hireling presses, to identify Georgia 
with South Carolina, both in principle and action." ^^** The 
Georgia nulllfiers were tactless in inviting South Carolinians 
to make political speeches In Georgia; the South Carolinians 
were unwise In accepting, as they invariably stirred up anew 
the smoldering prejudices of Georgians against them. 

Although the nullification movement had received a rude 
setback In the outcome of the Mllledgeville convention and 
In the rough handling the doctrines had received at the hands 
of the Legislature, the question could not be considered defi- 
nitely settled until the people of the State should speak for- 
mally In a popular election. That opportunity was found In 
the State elections that were to be held in October of 1 833. As 
already stated, elections heretofore had centered around per- 
sonalities with little regard to fundamental principles peculiar 
to the State, and with no consideration for questions of na- 
tional policy. Heretofore, Georgians had presented for the 
most part a solid front on national affairs. But the bitter dis- 
cussions for the past four or five years had set many people to 

127. Constitutionalist, Aug. 13, 1833. 

128. Aug. 13, 1833. 

129. Southern Recorder, Sept. 18, 1833. 

130. Letter to Lewis Cass, Jan. 2, 1833, in Lumpkin, Removal of the Cherokees, I, 
196, 197. Lumpkin declared that he was utterly unable to understand how aiiy- 
body could say that Georgia had been using the same weapon in her late troubles 
with the Federal Government that South Carolina was now proposing to use. 


thinking less about men and more about measures ; yet there 
had not come a clear-cut division on principles up to this 
time. Personalities were rapidly melting away before the 
onslaughts of rational convictions. The rise of nullification 
discussions may, therefore, be held responsible for the emerg- 
ing of two political groups based on principles, which came 
to be known as the Union and State Rights parties. Hezekiah 
Niles (in Niles' Register) gave a fairly true statement when 
he said, "These parties now called union and state rights, 
were heretofore arrayed under the name of Clark and Troup 
parties — but what they differed about we never fully under- 
stood ; and the present arrangement, we think, have a more 
intimate relation to the doctrines concerning nullification than 
to the political parties, proper, which generally divide the 
people of the United States." ^^^ 

The nucleus of the State Rights party is seen in numerous 
county meetings that sprang up after the Milledgeville con- 
vention. They were based on strong State rights principles 
and directed their attention against the moves of Jackson in 
the South Carolina troubles. They generally gave themselves 
the name. Free Trade and State Rights Association.^^^ The 
course of these coalescing groups into the State Rights party 
was difficult. The main trouble was on the degree of opposi- 
tion that should be directed against Jackson. The President 
had won so strong a position in the affections of Georgians 
on account of his dealings with the Supreme Court on the 
Indian question, that opposition to him at first became a dan- 
gerous and uncertain course. The result was that the wiser 
leaders professed no enmity at all for Jackson, but were 
merely objecting to his specific acts in crushing the nullifica- 
tion movement in South Carolina. They rather used the 
tactics of accusing the Union party of forsaking the tradi- 
tional position of the South on State rights and of forswear- 

131. Niles' Register, Vol. 47, pp. 117, 118. Concerning tlie Georgia parties in earlier 
times, Niles had said, "We do not know what the people are differing about. 
Perhaps they are touched with the old politics of New York, by which persons 
were transformed from Democrats to Federalists, or vice versa, while sleeping 
in their beds ... as the magician worked his wand." Ibid., Vol. 41, p. 237. 
The Southei'n Recorder declared that "the party lines are . . . clearly drawn, 
so distinctly indeed, that no man can mistake his course. . . ." Nov. 20, 1833. 

132. Southern Recorder, Jan. 3, 1833. The "Twiggs County Free Trade and State 
Right Association" was formed in February, 1833, "to promulgate . . . Politi- 
cal doctrines taught by Jefferson." Southern Recorder, Feb. 6, 1833. 


ing Jeffersonlan principles. But the more radical elements 
boldly condemned Jackson and declared for nullification out- 
right. They, however, made up a minority of the State 
Rights party. One of them, signing the nom de plume of 
'Tatric Henry," declared the State Rights party candidate 
for Governor, Joel Crawford, was against nullification and 
ought to be defeated. "When it is announced from high 
places," he continued, "that nullification is rapidly passing 
away in Georgia ; and when a candidate for the government 
has been selected, because he is not a nullifier, to oppose the 
present incumbent — Is it not time to take our stand and breast 
the storm . . . ? Let the nulUfers awake from their slumber. 
. . . The People of Georgia at heart are nullifiers." "^ 
Others claimed that if Crawford did not come out solidly for 
nullification, he would not poll eight thousand votes.^^* But 
the State Rights party as a whole labored hard to dispel the 
charge made by the Union party of personal opposition to 
Jackson and support of nullification doctrines.^^^ 

The Union party stood for Jackson and against nullifica- 
tion. It embraced a great group of people who held vigorous 
State rights principles, but who were strongly against jeopar- 
dizing the Union. Pre-eminently it was the party of those 
who had an unwavering attachment to Jackson. Their can- 
didate was Lumpkin, who was at that time Governor. The 
election resulted in the choice of Lumpkin by a substantial 
majority.^^^ This marked the death-blow to nullification. In 
fact the greatest dangers of the doctrine being actually ap- 
plied had been averted in the passage of the Compromise 
Tariff of 1833. In this election Georgia showed that she 
would not even give it her academic support. And, although 
the danger was never great after the adjournment of the 
Milledgeville convention, this election condemned it beyond 
resurrection. Governor Lumpkin, who had combatted the 
heresy since it first arose, considered the final victory had 
been won in his re-election. He referred to the movement in 

133. Georgm Messenger, July 25, 1833. Some accused Crawford of straddling on the 
nullification issue. Ihid., Oct. 31, 1833. 

134. The nullfiers threatened to bring out a candidate of their own unless Crawford 
declared specifically for nullification. Georgia Messenger, July 25, 1833, 

135. Southern Recorder, Jan. 30, Sept. 11, Nov." 13, 1833. 

136. Niles' Register, Vol. 45, p. 115. 


his annual message of November, 1833, as follows, "That 
the value of our Federal Union should have become a 
familiar subject of calculation is truly alarming, and argues 
little for the patriotism of those who encourage discussions 
upon such a subject. . . . The people may alter and change, 
as to them may seem fit; but that they would destroy that 
mighty governmental fabric, reared by the toils and cemented 
by the blood of their fathers — merely for the aggrandize- 
ment of selfish demagogues and strife-stirring politicians — 
is not to be expected." ^^^ In his second inaugural address, 
he said that state and nation "should be kept strictly within 
their respective constitutional spheres, and, finally, that he 
who would destroy the sovereignty of the States by consoli- 
dation, or the Federal Union by nullification, is a traitor to 
liberty, and deserves the universal execration of mankind."^^^ 
An effort in the Georgia Senate in December, 1833, to censure 
Jackson was defeated 49 to 30.^^^ In his annual message in 
November, 1835, Lumpkin chronicled the passing of the 
dark days and predicted for the future a bright prospect. 
"We can now look back," he said, "upon the agitations and 
political storms that arose out of the Tariff, Internal Im- 
provement, Indian and Bank questions, and rejoice that these 
dark and gloomy days have passed, and our form of govern- 
ment is still the admiration of the civilized world, and our 
people pre-eminent in happiness and prosperity." ^*** 

Nullification was a failure in Georgia for a number of 
reasons. In the early stages of the movement it was discred- 
ited among many because of South Carolina's connection with 
it. Georgia had a genuine love and respect for the Union 
and she was willing to make sacrifices for its continuance. 
Those who would have gone the full length of nullification 
never approached a majority at any time. In the latter period 
of the movement new elements entered into consideration 
when Jackson took his strong stand against it. Georgians had 
now to make a choice between support of Jackson and nullifi- 
cation. The President's peculiar esteem in Georgia was 

137. Lumpkin, Removal of the Cherokee Indians, I, 180. 

138. Ibid., 142. 

139. Southern Recorder, Dec. 4, 1833. 

140. Lumpkin, Removal of the Cherokee Indians, I, 180. 


destined to easily win. The time of greatest danger in the 
movement was the period of four months directly preceding 
the Milledgeville convention. It was during this time that 
the decision was made, and that by the people thinking for 
themselves. And the problem was to a great extent thought 
out on its own merits as the question of supporting Jackson 
did not at this time play a determinant part. So when the 
convention met, the fate of the movement had already been 
decided. Nullification was not entrenched in the government 
in Georgia as was the case in South Carolina. It attempted 
to rise spontaneously from the people and through machinery 
of its own, unknown to the law, settle the future policy of the 
State. It met in the organized government an unyielding 
obstacle. Had the government been permeated with the doc- 
trine like South Carolina, the outcome would have likely been 
different. The movement had the direct result of giving the 
State two political parties based on political principles instead 
of men. Within a few years the subject ceased to be dis- 
cussed, but it left as a heritage a keener appreciation of the 
nation that was not to be wholly forgotten when Georgia 
was calculating the value of the Union a quarter of a century 


The Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia in 1865-6:^ 

(^n Instrument of Reconstruction 

Associate Professor of History, Vassar College 

Now that another war has come and gone, and a second 
era of reconstruction is upon us, the time has come to examine 
and evaluate anew the instruments of peace-making which 
were invented and experimented with in the aftermath of the 
Civil War. To the Southerner of the late sixties and the 
seventies, the Freedmen's Bureau constituted undoubtedly 
one of the chief elements in the barbarism of reconstruction. 
But to the American of a half-century later, acutely conscious 
of the monstrous proportions of after-war problems of labor 
unrest, of relief of the destitute and disabled, of political dis- 
content, the machinery devised in 1865 to effect the solution 
of kindred problems can be examined with more sympathetic 
interest and understanding. To-day we recognize as a scien- 
tific generality what was to the older generation of my 
readers the most intense emotional experience, that peace 
may be more painful than war^ — peace with all the bitterness 
of war and without its spiritual exaltation; with exhausted 
energy and collapsed ideals in place of physical exhilaration 
and dauntless purpose. With this new knowledge of the gen- 
eral character of after-w^ar phenomena, we can perhaps re- 
view the activities of Civil War reconstruction in clearer per- 

When the Civil War came to an end, nearly a half-million 
negro slaves in Georgia became free. They were thereby 
entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberty 
they took, many of them, and happiness they pursued by the 
only road open to them, in wandering off from the planta- 
tions where they had belonged and in roaming at will. But 
life and the means of living were precarious indeed. Petty 
thieving and such charity as could be secured from army com- 
manders where they were within reach furnished the only 

1. Presented at the fourth annual meeting of the Georgia Historical Association, 
May 22, 1920. 


barriers against starvation to the thousands of negroes who 
were testing their freedom in the spring and summer of 1 865. 
Accounts from travelers and newspapers in Georgia cities give 
many pictures of the distress of the nomad blacks, "who had 
clearly let go the bird in hand without any prospect of finding 
even one in the bush," as a Northern newspaper correspon- 
dent described them.^''^ One old colored woman, who was 
asked why she left her old home, replied, "What fur? 'Joy 
my freedom!"^ Herein was defined the summum honum of 
the vagabond freedmen in the first months of their emancipa- 

But the negroes in their voluntary hegira were not the only 
ones whose needs called for relief. As a result of the devas- 
tating march of Sherman's army in 1 864, hundreds of families 
of the poorer whites in the upper part of the State found their 
crops ruined and their small farms in a hopeless condition for. 
future production. The armies of occupation were beset by 
refugees whose needs were more serious than could be met by 
the hand-to-mouth relief provided by military officers. In the 
summer of 1865 an investigation of conditions in fifteen 
counties in Northwest Georgia revealed that nearly six thou- 
sand families were entirely destitute, raising no crop what- 
ever, and many more had supplies to last for only a short 
period.-^ The refugee whites, therefore, as well as the freed- 
men, presented to the United States government a problem 
more far-reaching than could be solved by the temporary 
measures of the ordinary military force. And to these two 
elements was added a third, which completed the special 
field of operations of the Federal Bureau of Refugees, Freed- 
men and Abandoned Lands. With the danger threatened 
from Federal gunboats in 1862 and after, many planters 
from the sea-islands and along the mainland of the Georgia 
coast abandoned their plantations and transported their 
slaves when possible to the less disturbed inland. These plan- 
tations and other abandoned lands were put under the custo- 
dianship of the Bureau to be used by it in furthering the ex- 

la. Sidney Andrews, South Since the War, p. 349 ; Augusta Constitutionalist, June 4, 

2. Andrews, South Since the War, p. 353. 

1865 ; New York Times, Nov. 23, 1865 (B. C. Truman). 

3. Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, v. 49, pt. 2, pp. 1061-2. 


perlments which had been begun by General Sherman and 
others in the establishment of freedmen colonies. By the Act 
of March 3, 1865, which created the Freedmen's Bureau, as 
it was commonly called, under the Department of War, Con- 
gress recognized that the conquering armies in settling the 
problem of the preservation of the; Union, must meet still 
more stubborn difficulties in the establishment of freedom 
under the new order.* As an instrument of social and eco- 
nomic reconstruction the Bureau exercised its functions chiefly 
in the following fields: in administering relief, in securing 
employment and supervising labor terms, in establishing 
justice, and in providing education for the freedmen. 

During the greater part of the period covered by this study 
the work of the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia was directed 
by General David Tillson as Assistant Commissioner for the 
State, and to him is due the somewhat greater measure of 
success and the lesser degree of rancor which the Freedmen's 
Bureau met in Georgia than in others of the Southern States.^ 
The most insistent and obvious need which confronted him 
when he assumed his duties in September, 1865, was to pro- 
vide aid for the destitute freedmen and other refugees who 
had congregated in the more populous towns. In Macon, 
Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah and elsewhere multitudes of 
feeble men, women and children were living either in the open 
or in rude shelters of logs and brush. Under these conditions 
there was inevitably much sickness with a high rate of mor- 
tality, and to make matters worse, a severe epidemic of small- 
pox spread rapidly through the dirty hovels and congested 
quarters where negroes had taken refuge.^ As the need for 
food, clothing, shelter, and medical attendance was far 
greater than could be met by the resources of the city authori- 
ties or by local philanthropic societies, the agents of the 
Freedmen's Bureau came to the rescue. During the first fifteen 
months of the operation of the Bureau, from June, 1865, ^^ 
September, 1866, rations to the number of 847,699 were 
issued in Georgia, considerably less, it may be noted, than in 

4. 13 Statutes at Large, 507. 

5. Peirce, Freedmen's Bureau, p. 172. 

6. Pioneer Citizens' Society History of Atlanta, pp. 92-3 ; C. H. Howard, report 
printed in Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, p. 46. 


Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Alabama 
within the same period.' In July, 1865, the medical depart- 
ment of the Bureau was established in Georgia with J. W.' 
Lawton as Surgeon-in-Chief on General Tillson's staff. Three 
commissioned medical officers with seven private physicians 
under contract supervised the five hospitals which were estab- 
lished and in general administered the public health work of 
the Bureau in its first year. In 1865 the death rate among the 
freedmen as reported by the Assistant Commissioner in Geor- 
gia was 22 per cent.® While this agency of the Federal gov- 
ernment in its work of civilian relief and public health was 
of incalculable aid in meeting the elemental needs of the 
freedmen in the first months of peace, its blessings were not 
entirely unmixed. In so far as the Bureau was an agent of 
charity, it tended to increase the evils of poverty it aimed to 
remedy. As freedmen who had abandoned the plough in the 
field for the charms of city life found it possible to subsist in 
idleness upon the bounty of the government, more and more 
of the former slaves were impelled to do likewise. This 
double evil of crowding the cities with pauper blacks and of 
removing labor from the growing crops brought a stern order 
from General Tillson that rations were not to be furnished to 
able-bodied negroes for whom work could be found.® Some- 
what later Tillson gave notice that the Bureau did not intend 
to remove from the plantations the aged, decrepit freedmen 
and young children, who should be cared for by the owners 
of the plantations until the State might make provision for 
them.^<* Undoubtedly the Freedmen's Bureau had too limited 
resources to take upon itself the great problem of the aged 
and child dependents of the slave regime, and yet there was 
much point to this criticism of the order made by the editor 
of the Columbus Enquirer: "The plantation economy was an 
integral system, all the parts of which were necessary to sus- 
tain it. When the government took away the effective work- 
ing force, it knocked away the prop that upheld the whole 
system ; it withdrew the efficient workers, and with them the 

7. Peirce, Freedmen's Bureau, p. 98. 

8. Report of the Freedmen's Bureau for 1865. 

9. Tillson, Circular No. 2, Oct. 3, 1865, in Milledgeville Federal Union, Oct. 17, 1865. 

10. Circular No. 5, Dec. 22, 1865, in Milledgeville Federal Union, Jan. 9, 1866. 


means by which the owner was enabled to provide for those 
who could not provide for themselves." " 

In attempting to diminish the need of relief by decreasing 
idleness, the Bureau entered upon the task which was by far 
the most important of all its labors, and without which the 
work of relief would have developed into mere pauperiza- 
tion. The part of the Freedmen's Bureau in readjusting labor 
and in acting as intermediary between the employer and the 
worker in the most difficult period of transition from slavery 
to freedom is to my mind its most valuable contribution to 
the process and the progress of reconstruction. 

As the Confederate armies surrendered in April and May, 
the immediate uneasiness and restlessness of the negro labor- 
ers, which were the first fruits of freedom, came in the very 
midst of the growing season. With the customary compulsion 
of slavery removed, the planter was for the most part utterly 
helpless in keeping his hands at work through the summer 
and until the crop was harvested in the late fall. Although 
there was no organized movement among the freedmen to 
conduct strikes for shorter hours and higher wages, the dread 
of the present day capitalist, the employer in 1865 had to 
meet a far more difficult condition in the completely irrespon- 
sible mood of the workers. With their low standards of liv- 
ing and somewhat formless ideas of the rights of property, 
the natural heritage of slavery, the negroes were compelled 
by no necessity to labor. Moreover the belief spread rapidly 
and was held tenaciously among the freedmen in the fall of 
1865 that the land of their masters would be theirs, and that 
Christmas time would bring to them a division of the prop- 
erty of their former owners. 

While it is beyond controversy that the serious economic 
failure of Georgia in the first year after the war was due to 
the unstability of labor more than to any other one factor, 
yet this failure might have been worse, I think, had it not 
been for the mediating efforts of the Freedmen's Bureau. The 
first agents assigned to Georgia were stationed at Savannah 
and Augusta in the spring of 1865, acting under General 
Saxton, who was in command of the work in South Carolina 

11. Reprinted in Milledgeville Federal Union, Jan. 9, 1866. 


and Georgia. One of the first activities of the Bureau repre- 
sentatives was in behalf of stabilizing labor, in the attempt 
to keep the negroes at work upon the plantations. During the 
summer many public meetings in Eastern and Central Geor- 
gia were addressed by members of General Saxton's staff. 
At these meetings the speakers counseled the negroes to re- 
main at work on the plantations where they were, and warned 
them if they should quit work before the expiration of their 
contract they would forfeit all their expected share of gain. 
Moreover to the planters they promised that the government 
would help to induce the negroes to enter contracts to labor 
for the season and to hold them to their agreements, pro- 
vided the planter for his part should offer fair rewards to the 
worker in a just share of the crop or equivalent wage.^^ While 
there was as much irritation and suspicion on the part of the 
planters against this outside interference between them and 
their hands, quite as much as the employer to-day feels against 
a government commission, still the impotence of the planter 
was such that he was was forced to appeal to its offices while 
he at the same time deplored its officiousness, as it seemed to 

Toward the end of the year, as the Christmas holidays 
approached, there was even more unrest among the freed- 
men than had been evident in the summer, and the great 
expectations of the division of the land, together with their 
dissatisfaction with their share of earnings for the past sea- 
son, made it almost impossible for planters to secure hands 
by contract for the next year's labor. After an appeal for 
help was made to the Freedmen's Bureau, General Tillson 
held meetings with f reedmen and also with groups of planters 
in an attempt to define a satisfactory policy for the Bureau 
in freedmen's affairs. Shortly after these meetings were held, 
a general circular order issued by General Tillson announced 
the regulations which should govern the Bureau In these 
matters : ^-^ 

"Freed people have the right to select their own employers, 
but If they continue to neglect or refuse to make contracts, 

12. Augusta Constitutionalist, May 27, 1865 ; Milledgeville Federal Union, Aug, 22, 
Sept. 5, 1865 ; Southern Cultivator, July, 1865. 

13. Circular No. 5, Dec. 22, 1865, in Milledgeville Federal Union, Jan. 9, 1866. 


then, on and after January loth, 1866, officers and agents of 
the Bureau will have the right, and it shall be their duty, to 
make contracts for them, in all cases where employers offer 
good wages and kind treatment, unless the freed people be- 
long to the class above excepted [owners of property], or can 
show that they can obtain better terms : — contracts so made 
shall be as binding on both parties as though made with the 
full consent of the freed people." 

While it was difficult enough to the planters in the first 
instance to persuade negroes to make contracts and to settle 
down to work, it was still more difficult to hold them through 
the crop season when other employers were competing 
actively in the market for labor service. That the Freedmen's 
Bureau was willing to lend its aid to the planter to cope with 
this special problem is apparent by the following regulation, 
established also in Circular No. 5 quoted above : 

"All persons are forbidden to tamper with or entice labor- 
ers to leave their employers before the expiration of their 
contracts, either by offering higher wages or other induce- 
ments. Officers and agents will punish, by fine or otherwise, 
any person who may be convicted of such acts." " 

From these and other acts of General Tillson, it is evident 
that he took cognizance with great fairness of the interests 
of the white employers and did not attempt to regulate labor 
conditions with a view solely to guarding the rights of his 
wards. General Tillson plainly conceived it to be His duty as 
guardian of the freedmen to foster the mutual interests of 
the two races in so far as he was able. Much of the irritation 
in the South against the Freedmen's Bureau came from its 
position, as it appeared to the white citizens, as meddler from 
the outside in domestic concerns. In order to secure the good 
will and co-operation of Georgians, General Tllison ap- 
pointed citizens of the State as agents for the Bureau. Before 
this the personnel of the Bureau had been limited practically 
to army officers, detailed to its service, primarily because the 
bill of 1865 gave no appropriations for salaries. In the lack 
of any regular remuneration such as other agents received 

14. See also, Augusta Chronicle. Jan. 9, March 24, 1866 ; Macon Journal and Messen- 
ger, Jan. 16, 1866 ; Trowbridge, Picture of the Desolated States, p. 495. 


from their army pay, the fee system was introduced to pay 
the civil appointees of the Bureau. But this practice was 
easily subject to abuse and aroused so much dissatisfaction 
that it was abolished in Georgia by General Howard, head of 
the Freedmen's Bureau, in 1867/^ 

As the nearest friend of the freedman, the agent of the 
government which had given him liberty had for one of his 
duties the securing of justice to the negroes. In the first 
months after the surrender, in the lawlessness which followed 
the collapse of the old government before a new organization 
was effected, the provost marshal courts assumed jurisdiction 
over offences committed by whites and blacks alike. After the 
Freedmen's Bureau was organized the function of adminis- 
tering justice where negroes were concerned was taken over 
by its agents, and the military power was called upon only in 
the most serious disturbances. But by the time the Bureau 
was well established in the winter of 1 865 the civil reconstitu- 
tion of Georgia had rehabilitated the regular state, county 
and municipal courts, which offered a fair degree of justice 
to negro offenders. As the laws which conferred civil rights 
upon "persons of color" were far less restrictive in Georgia 
than were the Black Codes of Mississippi, Alabama and other 
Southern States, there was less need of outside protection for 
the freedmen.^*^ Moreover, General Tillson's policy of trust- 
ing to home rule as far as possible allowed the law to take its 
course except in relatively few cases where there seemed no 
disposition to punish offences against freedmen or where the 
freedmen appeared to be unfairly handled. In one notable 
case in Henry County in which outrages upon freedmen by 
white citizens were reported, General Tillson sent a detach- 
ment of troops to apprehend the offenders, and from this 
action a serious conflict between the civil and the military 
authorities resulted. Finally, the offenders who had been ar- 
rested by military force were ordered by General Tillson to 
be delivered to the civil courts for trial, and the authorities 
of the county on their part pledged that the law would be 
enforced in offences against colored people." 

15. Peirce, Freedmen's Bureau, p. 143. 

16. See Georgia Session Laws, 1865-66; Augusta Chronicle. Ap. 29, 1866 (interview 
with Gen. Tillson). 

17. Augusta Chronicle, Oct. 21, 1865 ; Milledgeville Federal Union, Oct. 23, 1866. 


One of the most abiding of the labors of the Freedmen's 
Bureau was its work for the education of the freedmen. 
Before the war came to an end various philanthropic societies 
in the North had estabHshed schools and provided teachers 
in parts of the South as soon as the Northern armies main- 
tained their conquest; and when the Bureau was formed the 
private societies continued to work for the education of the 
freedmen under its auspices. The officers of the Bureau were 
able to furnish buildings which had been seized as property 
of the Confederate government, or to rent houses where no 
confiscated property was available. Teachers, equipment and 
supplies were furnished by the New England Freedmen's Aid 
Society, by the American Missionary Society and various 
other private organizations for work among the freedmen. 
In the fall of 1865 schools were opened in the principal cities 
and continued to the end of the school term.^^ In addition to 
the regular day schools for colored children, night schools 
were conducted for the benefit of the illiterate adults who 
were eager to learn to read and write.^® In Savannah the 
negroes themselves formed an Educational Alliance to pro- 
vide schools for their children, which were supported and 
taught by negroes.^** And in a few places plantation schools 
were established and supported by the planters, although the 
parents of the pupils were expected to pay a small sum 
monthly in money or provisions to the teachers. ^^ As the 
State had no common school system and provided no educa- 
tion for negroes at public expense at this time, and as the 
private attempts for negro education were of small con- 
sequence, it may be said that the Freedmen's Bureau was the 
only important medium through which the freedmen could 
gain education In the years immediately following the war. 

In the compass of so brief a paper I have limited the study 
of the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia to the year and a half 
immediately following the surrender of the Confederate 

18. Report of E. A. Ware, Superintendent of Education for Georgia under the Freed- 
men's Bureau, 1868, in Senate Journal, 1868, pp. 78-79 ; Report of Reconstruc- 
tion Committee, pp. 33, 45-46. 

19. Macon Telegraph, Feb. 7, 1866 ; Trowbridge, Picture of the Desolated States, 
pp. 465-6. 490. 

20. Ibid. p. 509. 

21. Augusta Chronicle, April 26, 1867. 


armies, and have emphasized its attempts and its achieve- 
ments as an agency of peace-making. Most of the functions 
performed by this Federal bureau in 1 865 have their counter- 
part in the reconstruction in which we are now involved. 
Some of its services, such as providing food and shelter for 
the needy, medical care for the sick and protection for the 
weak, are now rendered by semi-public associations like the 
Red Cross and allied societies. In its work to diminish unem- 
ployment, to find labor for negroes idle from necessity or 
from choice, to supervise and control terms of labor, the 
Bureau was more far-reaching than were the recent employ- 
ment agencies of the United States governmnt. The assign- 
ment of public lands to unemployed soldiers has been only a 
suggested policy of present reconstruction, while actual ex- 
periments in the apportionment of abandoned lands and the 
formation of negro farm colonies were tried under the direc- 
tion of the Freedmen's Bureau in 1865. In maintaining the 
freedmen under its own jurisdiction, in using the civil courts 
and laws or in setting them aside at will, in appealing to mili- 
tary force to sustain its protecting arm, the Freedmen's 
Bureau in its essential elements was not unlike the mandatory 
power over backward peoples as proposed in the covenant 
of the League of Nations. Thus, in re-examining the work 
of the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia in the new light of the 
persistent needs and difficulties of the aftermath of war, the 
writer reinforces the judgment which she reached several 
years ago in a study of the Reconstruction period in Georgia, 
that the Freedmen's Bureau was a constructive force of large 
significance in the economic and social adjustment during the 
immediate transition from slavery to freedom.*^ 

22, C. M. Thompson, Reconstruction in Georgia, Economic, Social, Political. 


Howell Cobb Papers 

Edited by R. P. BROOKS, Ph.D. 
University of Georgia 

In 1 9 13 The American Historical Association published 
as Volume II of the Annual Report of the Association for 
191 1 the Correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander H, 
Stephens and Hozvell Cobb, edited by U. B. Phillips, now 
Professor of American History in the University of Michi- 
gan. One of the collections of manuscripts drawn upon by 
Professor Phillips was the Cobb papers in the possession of 
Mrs. A. S. Erwin, of Athens, Ga., a daughter of General 
Cobb. This collection is very considerable in size and of great 
historical importance. Its treasures were by no means ex- 
hausted by Professor Phillips, who was forced by the neces- 
sity of economizing space to omit many letters. 

Since the publication of the volume above referred to, the 
present editor has undertaken a biography of Howell Cobb, 
and in this connection has again worked through the Erwin 
collection. The letters and other papers of the collection have 
never been gathered in orderly arrangement, but are stored 
in boxes which contain not only the papers of historical value, 
but thousands of practically worthless miscellaneous papers 
of one sort and another. 

The selection which will be printed in consecutive numbers 
of The Quarterly comprises about 150 letters written by 
Howell Cobb or to him. These letters touch all phases of his 
life from 1840 to his death in 1867. For biographical pur- 
poses a few letters of a personal nature are included as well 
as a number bearing on Cobb's farming interests. For the 
most part, however, the letters relate to his political career. 
The period of his greatest activitiy was 1 848 to 1854, so that 
the bulk of the more important letters fall between those 

In addition to correspondence there will be printed a num- 
ber of Cobb's speeches and addresses to his constituents and 
others. Only such will be given as are not easily accessible. 


They have generally been taken from old newspaper files or 
from pamphlets in the Erwin collection. 

The editor has examined the papers of Cobb's contem- 
poraries in the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Con- 
gress, without, however, bringing to light any letters of im- 
portance not already in print. He has also searched through 
the Executive Files of Georgia for the period of Cobb's gov- 
ernorship, and among the documents to be printed there will 
be included several papers from this source, together with 
one or two messages to the Legislature. Unless otherwise 
specified, all documents to be printed are taken from the 
Erwin collection in Athens. 

It seems likely that all of the existing Cobb papers of im- 
portance will with the publication of this series be available 
to historians. Professor Phillips prefixed to his volume a 
calendar of Cobb papers published before the appearance of 
the Toombs, Stephens and Cobb correspondence, as well as 
the papers printed in that volume. 

In the letters to be printed in The Quarterly numerous 
omissions will be found. In some cases these omissions have 
been made by the editor in the interest of economizing space ; 
in other instances the omissions were made at the request of 
owners of the papers for reasons satisfactory to them. The 
matter omitted is of little or no historical importance. 

The first installment of the papers is not of special interest 
or importance, except that the long letter of July, 1 842, shows 
that even at the outset of his political career Cobb leaned 
towards the Unionist position and mistrusted a too rigid 
insistence on State sovereignty. 


Swift Creek Plantation [ Co., Ga.] Oct. 8, 1 839. 

Mr. Lamar : 

I reseived your letter on the 7 of Oct. am glad to hear 
from you nothing new on the plantation Sam is sick he is 

1. A prominent Georgia planter and brother of Mrs. Howell Cobb. He managed the 
Cobb planting interests as well as his own, thus relieving Cobb from business 
cares and enabling him to devote his energies largely to politics. Lamar entered 
the Confederate States Army as a colonel and was killed at Crampton's Gap, Md. 


giting better. Randley is sick the reste of the Family is all 
well I has picked the swamp over the secon time and has gote 
Forty thousan pouns of cotton oute of the swamp an I think 
their will be 1 5 or twenty thousan to open yet the Froste has 
kiled the swamp cotton. In all the cotton that I has gote oute 
is Seventy seven thousan pouns in all and I think I has gote 
about fifty thousan pouns to pick yet. I shall commens on 
thursday morning to gether corn and I shall continu until I 
git dun. I shall keepe half of the bans picking cotton. I has 
note yet dun the Fens for the Burden feil. I Stoped all of 
my bans to pick the swamp cotton. I shall now starte all of 
my men to putting the fens up an when I git it dun I shall 
pute them all to splitting rails around the plantation untill 
I gite rails anough to repar all the fences. I entende 
to pute the plantation in firstrate repar tho it will take 
sometime to do it their shall be nothing lacking on my 
side of tending to the business and I shall pay every atten- 
tion that is in my power. I shall gite the crope oute as soon 
as posible an prepar for another crope I shall have all the 
work dun that can be dun between now an Christmus. It will 
be oute of the power to make the fens from the black lake 
brige this fall their is more work to do on the plantation than 
can be dun by the nexte planting time and if i plant for you 
nexte year I shall want to plante four hundred acres in cotton 
an the remainder in corn. I do wante to see another crope 
maid on the plantation that is if we can gite rain to make it 
with everything is as dry as it can be we cante git no meal we 
have to make use of hominne for bread. It is oute of the ques- 
tion to gite meal. You mention aboute Jim darby having a 
freepass I have gote it he sais he gote it from a Irish man on 
the railrode by the name of Lary they has caried him back & 
ses that Dennis is runaway agin. 

You mention in your letter that you ar willing for me to 
continu with you another year I am willing to stay with and 
more than willing to do all I can for you as an overseer. It is 
always my rule to do all I can. Your business is worth more 
than five hundred dollars I will take five hundred and fifty 


dollars. I shall be glade to heir from [you] shortly on the 

Your unble servant 
P. S. I has only gote fourteen bags of cotton packed my 
gin broak an it tuck somtime to gite it dun their will be no 
better cotton go to market this season. 




Athens, Ga., July, 1842. 
Gentlemen : 

I acknowledge the receipt of your favour of the inst. 

communicating my nomination by the democratic convention 
as one of their candidates for Congress at the approaching 
fall elections, and thank you for the friendly manner in which 
you have been pleased to communicate the wishes of our 
political friends. At the time I consented that my name 
should be submitted to the convention for nomination the 
apportionment bill which has since passed Congress and re- 
received the official approbation of the president was not 
expected to become the law of the country.^ The opposition 
which had been engendered in Congress to some of its lead- 
ing features and the known hostility of the President to others 
had induced the opinion that it must undergo material altera- 
tions to obtain the favor of the majority of the one and 
receive the official sanction of the other. Public expectation 
in this regard has been disappointed. The bill has traveled 
successfully through all the forms and solemnities required by 
the Constitution, and must now be considered the law of the 
land unless it be adjudged violative of the Constitution. The 
effect which this action of the general government must pro- 

1. From a draft in Cobb's handwriting among the Erwin papers. The letter may 
never have been sent to the committee. If so, Cobb changed his mind afterwards, 
accepted the nomination and was elected. 

2. At the time of the reapportionment of 1842 Congress required the districting of 
the States for Congressional election purposes. The Legislature of Georgia failed 
to district thfe State in time for the election of 1842, opposition arising on grounds 
stated by Cobb in this letter. The election of 1842 in Georgia was therefore on a 
general ticket. Cobb's fear that Congress would not recognize members so elected 
proved groundless, as the new members, Cobb among them, were allowed to take 
their seats. The Georgia Legislature districted the State by Act of Dec. 23, 1843. 


duce upon the laws of Georgia under which we have hereto- 
fore chosen our representatives in Congress should be well 
understood and definitely settled before any election is held 
in order to avoid future difficulties that might arise from 
pursuing an injudicious course. 

Has Congress then transcended its powers in the passage 
of this bill? The power is claimed by the Federal govern- 
ment under the first article of the fourth section of the Con- 
stitution, which is in these words, "The times, places and 
manner of holding elections for senators and representatives 
shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; 
but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such 
regulations except as to the places of choosing senators." 
Take this clause of the Constitution in connection with the 
first article of the fifth section which declares that each house 
shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications 
of its own members, and it presents the strongest argument 
that can be urged in favor of the position that such power as 
is now exercised was intended by the framers of the Consti- 
tution to be delegated in all its length and breadth. The object 
contemplated by those wise and enlightened statesmen who 
adopted this Constitution, was evidently to place the Federal 
Government in the exercise of the delegated powers supreme 
and sovereign above the power of state legislatures, and in 
order to do this effectually they readily perceived the abso- 
lute necessity of placing the organization of the federal gov- 
ernment under its own ultimate control, thus placing it beyond 
the power of the state government to interpose obstacles and 
difficulties to the regular and uniform operation; otherwise 
the federal government would be a mere creature at will, 
dependent for its existence upon the pleasure of the several 
states, and not upon the sovereign exercise of its delegated 
powers and the constitution a mere contract, possessing no 
other binding efficacy than the voluntary submission of the 
states, to its provisions and its laws made in pursuance 
thereof, so long as such submission was congenial to the feel- 
ings and wishes of each state and no longer. An acquiescence 
for a moment in such a doctrine would be a reflection on the 


wisdom, foresight, and ability of the Convention of '87, which 
every citizen of the Union should resist with indignation. 

Hence it was that the same power over the election of the 
members of Congress was delegated to the federal govern- 
ment to be exercised at its will and pleasure, that was reserved 
to the states, until such time as the federal government should 
see proper to assume it. Have the states then the power to 
lay off congressional districts, for this is the objectionable 
feature in the apportionment bill which creates the present 
difficulties. The history of the government affords the most 
satisfactory solution of this question. A large majority of the 
states have adopted the district system until there only re- 
mains a few who elect by general ticket, and this has been 
done too at a time when the very men who framed the con- 
stitution were still active participants in every political move- 
ment in the completion of that wonderful machinery of gov- 
ernment which their powerful minds had just moulded into 
being. The contemporaneous opinions of Mr. Madison, the 
impress of whose vigorous intellect can be traced in almost 
every line of the Constitution, will throw much light upon the 
subject, not only as regards the power of the states but also 
of the general government as delegated in this very article of 
the Constitution. When called upon in the Virginia Conven- 
tion to explain the object for which this article had been 
adopted he says [quotation omitted in original]. There are 
other considerations which have had their due influence upon 
my mind in producing the conviction that Congress has not 
transcended its powers in the passage of this bill, but the time 
which I have already occupied upon this branch of the sub- 
ject forbids that I should notice this at the present time. 

The most plausible objection urged to the operation of 
this bill is made by those who admit the constitutional power 
of Congress to legislate upon the subject, but deny their 
power to require legislative action on the part of the State 
government to give effect to their laws, admitting that if 
Congress had proceeded one step further, and had made pro- 
vision for the districting of the state without the intervention 
of the state authorities, that there would have been no con- 


stitutional objection to the bill and that we would have been 
compelled to have yielded obedience. This objection is 
founded upon the erroneous supposition that the general gov- 
ernment cannot require state legislation to give effect to her 
own laws. In this very bill does not the alteration of the ratio 
of representation demand legislation in every state, where 
the members are chosen by districts? Most assuredly new 
districts must be laid off. In some the number of districts are 
being increased, in others diminished, and in all such states 
some alteration being rendered necessary by the change of 
ratio. Carrying out this doctrine that the law is incomplete 
in its shape and is therefore not binding upon the states, until 
they may see proper to perfect it, and it will result in a most 
disorganizing state of things. Let us for a moment lose sight 
of the district feature and consider the bill in reference only 
to the ratio of representation, and see in what position this 
doctrine might place the general government. In Georgia 
the act of Congress as far as regards the ratio of representa- 
tion would be perfect and complete and therefore operative 
and obligatory as no state legislation is necessary to give 
effect to that portion of the bill. We would elect our repre- 
sentatives upon a ratio of 70,680 as contemplated by the 
present bill. Would not these members be entitled to their 
seats apart from the district feature? None will deny it. In 
South Carolina the change of the ratio demands the action 
of their State Legislature in laying off new districts, but this 
Congress cannot do according to the doctrine I am endeavor- 
ing to repel. What is the result; the law is incomplete and 
inoperative. Congress has not gone far enough in altering 
the present law of Carolina, and hence she proceeds to an 
election under her present laws. Would her members thus 
chosen be entitled to their seats? If so. South Carolina will 
be represented in Congress upon a basis of 47,700 and Geor- 
gia upon a basis of 70,680. This cannot be. No one will for 
a moment entertain the idea that such a state of things would 
be countenanced as being in accordance with either the letter 
or spirit of the Constitution and yet the doctrine I am endeav- 
oring to combat would necessarily carry into the support of 


this gross absurdity. I cannot draw any distinction between 
the duty of the State of Georgia to perfect the law of Con- 
gress in reference to districts by the action of her legislature 
and the duty of Carolina to do the same thing in reference to 
the feature of the ratio of representation, and if the one be 
null and void for its incompleteness so must also be the other. 
And if Georgia can disregard the requisition of Congress to 
district, South Carolina can with the same propriety refuse 
to reduce the number of her districts as required by the new 
ratio, each equally requiring state legislation to perfect the 
act of the federal government. 

We are sometimes gravely asked to point to any article in 
the Constitution, which requires the state legislature to pass 
laws at the requisition of the general government. It is true 
that none such can be found, nor is it necessary for the pur- 
poses of the present argument. If the positions heretofore 
assumed be well founded Congress in passing the apportion- 
ment bill has acted within the limit of her delegated powers, 
and the law being made in pursuance of the constitution be- 
comes the "supreme law of the land" and the states are as 
much bound to yield to it and give all their aid and assistance 
to its perfect and successful operations as they are to comply 
with the plainest requirement of the letter of the Constitu- 
tion. That sacred instrument itself which we have been 
taught from infancy to reverence as the inestimable gift of 
wise and patriotic fathers, professes no distinction between 
those duties imposed within its own limits, and such [as] are 
made in conformity with its provisions, nor indeed can any 
be drawn. They are alike binding, equally requiring our 
cheerful acquiescence. 

Having settled the constitutionality of this measure and 
the duty of the states as demanded by its provisions, no good 
can result from a discussion of its expediency at present, and 
should only be resorted to for the purpose of effecting a repeal 
of the law when it is ascertained that a majority of the people 
are opposed to the alteration it proposes to make. It is to 
consider the expediency of a measure when it is presented to 
us, clothed with the power of a law passed in pursuance of 


the constitution. If the law is constitutional, submit to it, if 
it is inexpedient, repeal it at the proper time and in the proper 
way. If I have taken a correct view of this subject the elec- 
tion in October next will conflict with the act of Congress 
which I have been considering, and the individuals chosen at 
that time cannot be entitled to their seats unless the next ses- 
sion of the present Congress should repeal so much of the 
bill as contemplates the districting the states. In that event I 
am not prepared to say that the election would be void, but 
if such repeal should not take place and I scarcely think it 
will, what position will the state of Georgia occupy? She 
must either go unrepresented or else her next legislature must 
lay off the state into congressional districts and provide a 
second election previous to the meeting of the next Congress. 
In either event the election in October promises to be pro- 
ductive of much harm and no good, for upon the happening 
of the first contingency, it would be a source of deep mortifi- 
cation to see the interest of our people at so important a 
crisis wholly unrepresented in our national councils, or upon 
the happening of the other to behold Congress squandering 
the public treasure in profitless debates over the question of 
contested seats from Geo. 

Entertaining these views you will perceive, gentlemen, that 
it would be an injustice to those who have placed my name in 
nomination as well as to myself not to withdraw my name 
from the contest. I regret that a difference of opinion should 
exist among our poliical friends upon this subject, especially 
at a time which requires a united and energetic effort to place 
the administration of the general government back into the 
hands of the republican^ party who have been temporarily 
thrown into the minority. 


Macon, Ga., Oct 26th., 1842. 
Dear Howell: 

Yours of the 22nd inst came to hand this evening, and I 
can return your congratulations with a sincerity based on the 
knowledge of your ability to sustain a handsome reputation 

1. i. e., the Jacksonian Democratic party. 


in Congress, and a pride that I shall witness your success, if 
I am myself unable to add my full quota to our joint stock of 
character, there. You have promise Howell of a long life of 
political fame ; I may be able to aid in sustaining you in your 
career hereafter, but I shall never be able to acquire that 
prominence to which you are destined. In fact I do not desire 
it, as one term — if we are admitted to our seats — will satisfy 
all my ambition. I expect to gain very little reputation at 
Washington myself, and it would be hard for me to tell ex- 
actly my motives in permitting myself to be sent there, — it 
perhaps originated in a vanity, not to pass through the world 
as a perfectly obscure individual, although my uncertain 
health, bad voice, weak lungs & want of practice in public 
speaking, does not promise that I shall emerge far from the 

horizon of obscurity 

You allude to the uncertainty of obtaining our seats. We 
will talk that over when we meet in Milledgeville^ during the 
first week of the Session. I can tell you however now, I shall 
contest my seat and have it if it can be had, and hope no false 
delicacy will restrain you from pursuing a similar course — 
at this stage of matters. However, we will talk that over in 


Athens, Ga., Dec. 15, 1843. 
My dear Sir, 

I am just in receipt of your favor of the nth. inst. and 
have to thank you, not only for this, but the other evidences 
of your friendship since your arrival at Washington. It is not 
only agreeable but useful to me, to be informed of matters 
and things at the seat of Government during the session, and 
I hope you will not weary in well doing, but give me an epistle 
as often as you can find leisure to write. 

I am glad to hear that you were permitted to take your 
seat without difficulty, and that you have no doubt of retain- 

1. At that time the State Capital. 

2. Editor of The Southern Banner, at Athens, Ga. This paper was regarded as Cobb's 


ing it. I presume, as the House is the exclusive judge of the 
qualifications of its members, that its decision in regard to 
the seats of those elected by general ticket, will be not only 
legal, but right, though I would have been glad had they all 
been elected by districts. This subject, however, is not likely 
to be agitated here again. Our Senate has passed a district 
bill, (the same which I had the honor to suggest last year,) 
and I think the House will concur in it. , If so, we shall con- 
tinue to consider you a citizen of Clark, and take care that 
your interests in reference to the next election, do not suffer 
by your absence. 

You have learned, of course, that we have held a Presi- 
dential Convention. I cannot but feel gratified that this 
measure, urged publicly only by myself should be carried. Its 
results too are satisfactory. Mr. Van Buren's friends, I am 
told, were largely in the majority, but they preferred not 
pressing a nomination for they desire harmony, and did not 
wish to follow the example set them in June. I could not go 
on account of the situation of my wife, who yesterday pre- 
sented me with a fine daughter. 

I think we shall give the Whigs a fine race, if we do not 
beat them in January; and that we shall give to the Baltimore 
nomination a decided support. You will perceive that the 
spirit of the resolution of our Convention, is that the delegate 
should vote for him who seems to be the favorite of the party 
throughout the Union. Of course this will be our friend Van. 

Please get acquainted with the New Hampshire members 
and tell them I am true to the principles of my native State. 
Neither of them know me; and I have never seen either of 
them except Senator Pierce to whom I was introduced at 
Concord in 1832, when he was speaker of the House in the 
State Legislature. 

I suppose you have other correspondents to give you local 
news. I shall write occasionally, but hope to hear from you 

I send you a list of the papers of this State, which is com- 
plete, with perhaps one or two unimportant exceptions. 


[Postscript to the above letter. D, Democrat; W, Whig]. 

Savannah, Georgian, D. Republican (Whig). 

Augusta, Constitutionalist, D. Chronicle and Sentinel, W. 
Washingtonian, Temperance. 

Washington, Wilkes County News, W. 

Athens, Banner, D. 

Dahlonega, Mountain Times, D. 

Cassville, Pioneer, D. 

Marietta, Cobb Co. Advocate, D. Helicon, W. 

Newnan, Coweta Co., Banner. 

Fayetteville, Fayette Co. Advertiser, D. 

Madison, Morgan Co. Miscellany, W. 

Milledgeville, Federal Union, D. Journal, W. Recor- 
der, W. 

Macon, Telegraph, D. Messenger, W. 

Columbus, Times, D. Enquirer, W. Muscogee Democrat. 

Fort Gaines, Early Co. Whig. 

Albany, Baker Co. Courier, W. Albany Patriot. 

Sandersville, Washington Co. Telescope, Neutral. 

Monroe Co., Forsyth, Little Georgian, Neutral. 

Griffin, Pike Co., Jeffersonian, D. 

Penfield, Greene Co., Index (Baptist). 

LaGrange, Troup Co., Herald, W. 



Georgia as a Proprietary Colony. The Execution of a Trust. 
By James Ross McCain, Ph.D. (Boston : Richard G. Badger, 

The colonial history of Georgia from a legal standpoint 
is divided into two parts, viz. : the period from 1732 to 1752 
under the Trustees, and the period of Royal control from 
1752 on until the Revolution. The author of the volume at 
hand has dealt with the first period. This book is not, as the 
author states, a story of Georgia, purporting to give a well- 
rounded and comprehensive account of the colony during the 
period treated; but it is rather the purpose of Dr. McCain to 
attempt ''to explain in some detail the institutional organiza- 
tion and development of the province." And in this he has 
made a signal success. He has broken a new field and added 
much to our knowledge of the institutional history of the 
period. The study has been made very largely from the 
original documents, many of which are not readily available 
to the historian. 

The book consists of ten chapters. In line with the more 
recent interpretation of colonial history, a discussion of the 
English background is given considerable space. Indeed, the 
government of the colony was so closely under the control 
of the Trustees that any account of its legal relationships 
would necessarily have to be concerned to a great extent with 
the ruling power in England. The governmental functions in 
the colony are discussed under the following headings : 
"Organization of the Executive in Georgia," "Legislative 
History of the Province," and "The Judiciary of the Colony." 
The land system is discussed in another chapter; while the 
educational progress and religious history of the colony are 
well treated in the last two chapters. From the standpoint of 
what the author set out to accomplish, there is little left to be 
desired. However, it seems to the present reviewer that the 
connections between the first and second periods of the prov- 
ince's history might well have been included: some of the 
reasons for the discontinuance of the Trustee system before 


the twenty-one year period was out. But all In all this Is a 
very admirable and scholarly piece of work by a trained his- 
torian In a fairly difficult field. There is a comprehensive 
bibhography added and an index. E. M. C. 

The Agrarian Revolution in Georgia. By Robert Preston 
Brooks, Ph.D. [Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin, 
No. 639.] (Madison, 1914, pp. 129.) 

This monograph represents real pioneering in historical 
investigation and is unique In a number of ways. The great 
cataclysm of the Civil War followed by the turmoil of Recon- 
struction produced far-reaching problems for the South to 
solve. The political readjustments and to a lesser extent the 
social remaking have been the fruitful source for numerous 
monographs. But only In the present Instance has the eco- 
nomic life of the people running from the plantation system 
of agriculture and slave economy to the present conditions In 
which tenancy plays the predominating part, been attempted 
and adequately treated. Dr. Brooks has made a scholarly 
study of this transition of slave to free laborer, tenant, and 
landowner, and the non-slaveholders from an Intolerable 
position to economic competency. 

There are seven chapters in this book. In the first three 
the author describes the general conditions In Georgia 
directly after the Civil War and the decadence and downfall 
of the plantation system followed by the beginning of the prac- 
tice of renting. In the fourth chapter, the two main types of 
tenancy, cropping and renting, are described. The remainder 
of the study deals with the present-day conditions in the 
different physiographic sections of the State, the economic 
history and land tenure movement being described separately 
in each. In making his investigations for this monograph, the 
author not only used the available published documentary 
sources ; but seized In time the opportunity to get a symposium 
of information obtained in letters from the planters yet living, 
who knew the conditions In the old system and In the new. 
Five maps and a number of tables greatly add to the value of 
this study. A bibliography Is added; but an index is lacking. 

E. M. C. 


A Treatise on the Constitution of Georgia. By Walter McEl- 
reath. (Atlanta : The Harrison Company, 19 12, pp. vi, 700.) 

This book is written by a member of the Atlanta Bar, and 
was intended to be of aid to the lawyer interested particularly 
in the constitutional law of the State. However, this was not 
the only purpose in view. In fact the book should prove of 
even greater aid and interest to the layman who would know 
how the fundamental law of the State came to be what it is 
to-day. The author does not pretend to make of it more than 
"a collection and arrangement of material for a study of the 
constitutional history of Georgia." In this he has admirably 
succeeded. He has done something more. In Part I, consist- 
ing of 181 pages, he has given a good running account of the 
constitutional background as well as fitted into it the constitu- 
tional law as it grew up. The English sources are given ample 
treatment, and the account ends with the restoration of sover- 
eignty under the Constitution of 1877. The documentary 
sources have been levied upon considerably, chiefly those in 
the Colonial and Revolutionary records, published by the 
State. Of course, the acts and journals of the legislature have 
been used, as also were good secondary accounts. This part 
of the volume should especially appeal to those interested in 
this phase of the State's history. Part II consists of reprints 
of the great constitutional documents of England and the 
seven constitutions under which Georgia has lived. Part III 
gives the Constitution of 1877 up to date, with the interpreta- 
tions as brought out by the Supreme Court and the Court of 
Appeals of Georgia. This part is of more particular value 
to the lawyer. The author has done a valuable piece of work, 
putting in one volume a mass of information, which should 
appeal to the general reader with a constitutional turn of 
mind, as well as to the lawyer. E. M. C. 

The Conquest of the Old Southwest. The Romantic Story 
of the early Pioneers into Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, 
and Kentucky. B. Archibald Henderson, Ph.D., D. C. L. 
(New York: The Century Company, 1920, xxiv, pp. 395.) 


This book was designed, undoubtedly, to command a popu- 
lar interest, as well as to be scholarly. Both purposes have 
been well carried out. The causes back of the great migration 
of peoples into the Appalachian system of mountains and 
their bursting through into the fertile Blue Grass Region of 
Kentucky and the Cumberland country in Tennessee, are 
shown both in their romance and in their commercialism. 
Daniel Boone and the Long Hunters were to a great extent 
the popular embodiment of the former, while Richard Hen- 
derson and the Transylvania Company typify the latter. The 
constant attrition of many an unnamed hero against the 
frontier of mountains and Indian opposition brought on fierce 
wars with the Cherokees and other tribes; but in the end 
made the conquest of the trans-Alleghany region possible. 
This is, indeed, a period of romance for the later genera- 
tions; but for the participants it was a time of scalpings, 
plunderings and murderings between the savage and the more 

Dr. Henderson has produced an authoritative book on the 
period under treatment. He has used much unpublished ma- 
terial, as well as other documents. Facts little known or ap- 
preciated, heretofore, have been brought out and given their 
proper setting. The author is saved an immediate adverse 
criticism of the scope of his "Old Southwest" by the sub-title. 
But the frontier further south has a prime claim of being a 
part of the "Old Southwest;" and on this frontier as fierce 
a struggle for possession of the country was going on as was 
the case in the regions further north. Some of Elijah Clark's 
ambitions and efforts stand equal in their daring to many 
others better known. 

Dr. Henderson has produced a very readable, scholarly 
book, with illustrations, notes, a map of the region, a bibliog- 
raphy, and a good index. E. M. C. 



The two issues of the Virginia Magazine of History and 
Biography for January and April, 1920, contain interesting 
historical material. The January number presents the follow- 
ing articles: "Minutes of the Colonial and General Court, 
1 622-1 629," copied from the original in the Library of Con- 
gress and continued from the previous number of the maga- 
zine; "Letters of William Byrd, First," from the originals 
in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society; "Virginia 
Gleanings in England," containing genealogical material of 
the Swann, Tuberville, Walthall and Woodhouse families; 
"An Interesting Colonial Document," being the resolutions 
of a "General Meeting of the Freeholders of the County of 
Mecklenburg on the 29th day of July, 1774," found among 
the papers of Colonel Robert Burton, of Granville County, 
North Carolina, and published by Professor Archibald Hen- 
derson of the University of North Carolina; "Virginia State 
Troops in the Revolution," accounts from the State auditor's 
papers, now in the State Library. The April number of the 
magazine includes : "Minutes of the Colonial and General 
Court, 1 622-1 629," continued; "Preston Papers" from the 
original in the Virginia State Library; "Virginia in 1682," 
abstracts from the Sainsbury Papers and copies from 
McDonald and Dejarnette Papers in the Virginia State 
Library, from the originals in the British Record Office, con- 
taining interesting material of "a strange insurrection," the 
"Plant Cutting," due to the desperation of many colonists at 
the low price of tobacco; "Virginia Gleanings in England," 
continued; "Northampton County Land Certificates" granted 
from January, 1640, to December, 1660, contributed by 
Judge Thomas B. Robertson; "Orange County Marriages," 
continued, 1810-1818; and "Genealogy," continuing the 
Lovelace and Grymes families. 

The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Maga- 
zine for July, 1920, is made up of source material. The first 
article, "Swiss Notes on South Carolina" by Gilbert P. Voigt 


contains a short account of the settlement of New Windsor 
given in the sources, and Hans Wernhard Trachsler's "Brief 
Description of a Journey to the Province of Carolina, situ- 
ated in the West Indies, together with a Report of the Char- 
acter, Nature, and Features of this Land by a Citizen Who 
Recently Returned to His Own Country," published in 1734 
at Zurich. The description of conditions in South Carolina 
is sufficiently lugubrious to deter any further Swiss emigration 
to that province. "The Register of Christ Church Parish," 
extracts from the Journal of Mrs. Ann Manigault, 1754- 
178 1, and "Marriage and Death Notices from the City 
Gazette" are continued. 

In the Maryland Historical Magazine for September, 
1920, the ninth and tenth chapters of Edward S. Delaplaine's 
"The Life of Thomas Johnson" are published. These chap- 
ters describe the part of Johnson in the First and Second 
Continental Congresses and show that while he was outshone 
by the brilliant writers and orators among his colleagues he 
was regarded as a man of "sincerity of purpose and cautious 
judgment as well as practical capacity" and served on the 
most important committees. In the first Congress he was a 
member of a committee "to state the rights," or the Great 
Committee; and the committee to devise a plan to carry non- 
importation into effect; and the committee to frame the Peti- 
tion to the King; in the second Congress the honor fell to him 
of nominating Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the 
Continental Forces. The magazine publishes also sketches 
of "Seven Pioneers of the Colonial Eastern Shore" by Percy 
G. Skirven and continues the account of the "Old Indian 
Road" by William B. Marye, "Extracts from the Carroll 
Papers," and "Some Early Colonial Marylanders" by Henry 

In the Tennessee Historical Magazine for January, 1920, 
there are two articles of interest in the early settlement of 
the State: "Tennessee Scotch-Irish Ancestry" by Blanche 
Bently and "Why the First Settlers of Tennessee were from 
Virginia" by A. V. Goodpasture. W. A. Provine writes on 


"Some Early Archeological Finds in Tennessee" and the 
"Journal of Governor John Sevier" by John H. De Witt is 
continued. In the April number the journal of Governor 
Sevier is concluded and "The Marriage Records of Knox 
County, Tennessee," 1792-1811, are published. 

The Louisiana Historical Quarterly of October ^ igig, 
presents some interesting contributions. In the article, "The 
Archives of Louisiana," Henry Planche Dort discusses the 
valuable source material of Louisiana, its location and the 
conditions of its preservation, and urges immediate action by 
the State to insure its collection and proper care. Clarence 
Wyatt Bispham contributes a second paper on "Fray Antonie 
de Sedella," the thesis of which is that Sedella was a secret 
agent of the Spanish king. Documents are published to 
support this thesis. "Old Documents, Being a Group of 
Letters from the Collection of Mr. Gaspar Cusachs, Presi- 
dent of the Louisiana Historical Society" contains a letter 
from General Robert E. Lee to General G. T. Beauregard, 
dated October, 1 865, in which General Lee explains his course 
"after the surrender." Other articles are: "Letters in Jour- 
nal Form Written to Don Estevan Miro, Ex-Governor of 
Louisiana, by Joseph Xavier de Pontalba in 1792" translated 
by Heloise Hulse Cruzat; "Lafitte, the Louisiana Pirate and 
Patriot," by Gaspar Cusachs; "The Flags of Louisiana," by 
Milledge L. Bonham, Jr. ; "Creole Folk Songs," by Emilie Lc 
Jeune, and "Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana, 
VIII. B." 

In the Mississippi Valley Historical Review of September, 
1920, Walter Rice Sharp writes of "Henry S. Lane and the 
Formation of the Republican Party in Indiana." The begin- 
nings of the Republican Party in Indiana are of especial inter- 
est because of the hold of the South on that State of the Old 
Northwest. The article shows that the preliminary organi- 
zation of the Republican party in Indiana, the people's party, 
was the outcome of something more than the opposition to 
the Kansas-Nebraska "outrage." It was made up of temper- 
ance advocates, free soilers, know-nothings and Whigs. Its 
victory in 1854 would have been impossible without the co- 


Operation of the American party and the verdict on the exten- 
sion of slavery was not clear-cut and unqualified. It was not 
until 1856 with the general collapse of the American party 
and the subsidence of the temperance wave that the people's 
party could drop its mask and appear as the Republican 
party, and the campaign of that year resulted in the defeat 
of the new party in the state and national elections. The 
writer still sees the hand of the South in the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill rather than the hand of the great spokesman of the eco- 
nomic interests of the Northwest. Professor William H. 
Siebert in "Kentucky's Struggle with its Loyalist Proprie- 
tors" gives an illuminating account of the part of the loyalists 
in the Indian attacks on the pioneer settlements in Kentucky 
during the Revolution and In the period following, in which 
England held the Northwest posts and intrigued to separate 
the West from the Union, and shows how the escheated lands 
of the loyalists were appropriated by the Virginia assembly 
for a "Publick School" — the beginnings of Transylvania 
College. Other contributions to this number are: "Histori- 
cal Activities In the Old Northwest" by Arthur C. Cole. 
"Some Sources for Mississippi Valley Agricultural History" 
by Raymond G. Taylor, and "Some Documents Relating to 
Jefferson Davis at West Point" contributed by Walter L. 



With the present number the Georgia Historical Quarterly 
begins a new volume. The editorial management has been 
placed in the hands of a new Board, the names of the mem- 
bers of which are given on page two. With one exception 
the Editors are history teachers in leading Georgia colleges. 
They are all persons with some historical training and in 
most cases actively prosecuting historical research work. 

The plan of the Editors contemplates four departments — 
articles, documents, reviews, and historical notes. The ideal 
will be to publish only papers which represent honest first- 
hand research or memoirs. The Board has in hand a con- 
siderable supply of documents, enough to run for several 
years. In the book review department, the Editors will not 
confine themselves to reviewing new books. As the object of 
the Quarterly is to popularize Georgia and Southern History, 
they will feel free to review any important book without 
reference to the date of publication. The notes and news will 
be designed to keep before subscribers the trend of historical 
developments in the nation at large as well as in Georgia. 

Dr. R. P. Brooks, formerly of the Department of History 
of the University of Georgia, but who for the session of 
1 9 19-1920 w^as the Assistant to the President of the Fourth 
National Bank of Macon, Ga., has returned to the University 
of Georgia and is now Dean of the School of Commerce. 

Dr. E. M. Coulter of the Department of History at the 
University of Georgia has been granted a leave of absence 
from January to September of the present year, in order to 
devote the time to research work, the results of which he 
expects to publish in a new history of Kentucky. 

During the past year a campaign for members was con- 
ducted by the American Historical Association. Membership 
carries with it the subscription to the American Historical 
Review. Some new members were secured in Georgia. 

Special attention is called to the letter recently mailed to 
the members of the Georgia Historical Society by the Com- 


mittee on Membership. It is earnstly hoped that every mem- 
ber will respond and not only renew his membership but also 
present names of others for membership. 

The De Renne Library at Savannah is now made more 
accessible to the public through the very great kindness of 
Mr. Wymberly W. De Renne, whose father at considerable 
expense brought together this most valuable collection of his- 
torical material on the history of Georgia. A member of the 
editorial board of the Quarterly is now permitted to select 
from the manuscripts in this library those which it may be de- 
sired to publish in the Quarterly. The member of the editorial 
board who has agreed to perform this service is Mr. Charles 
Seymour Thompson, the librarian of the Savannah Public 

It is always a matter of interest to have historians and 
teachers of history of national reputation to visit Georgia. 
Dr. Cleo Hearon, the Professor of History in Agnes Scott 
College, is due the credit for securing recently Dr. William 
E. Dodd of the University of Chicago, who delivered a series, 
of lectures at Agnes Scott College. 

The annual meeting of the American Historical Associa- 
tion was held December 27-30 at Washington, D. C. It was 
well attended and considered one of the most successful meet- 
ings of recent years. Dr. E. M. Coulter of the University of 
Georgia, Dr. Cleo Hearon of Agnes Scott College, and Dr. 
P. S. Fllppin of Mercer University attended this meeting. 

The annual meeting of the Georgia Historical Society will 
be held on Friday, April 29, 1921. Macon has been selected 
as the place of meeting and the local committee on arrange- 
ments and the program committee are planning for what 
promises to be a very profitable occasion. 

An event of importance In history In Georgia was the visit 
in December of Professor William E. Dodd of the Univer- 
sity of Chicago to Agnes Scott College. Professor Dodd was 
asked to speak on President Wilson because of the Interest 
In his brilliant and masterly Interpretation of the policy of 


the President in his book "Woodrow Wilson and His Work," 
and gave three lectures on the "Mission of Woodrow Wil- 
son" : "The Awakening of 19 12," "Wilson and the World 
War," "The Great Apostasy." The mission of Wilson, Pro- 
fessor Dodd holds, was to revive in America her faith in 
Democracy and to carry to Europe the old American philoso- 
phy. For neither part of his task did he have a mandate from 
the American people; he was elected in 19 12 by a minority 
of the popular vote, and in 19 16 because "he kept us out of 
war." In the first part of his task he met with surprising suc- 
cess. Although a minority President and the leader of an 
inharmonious minority party, he succeeded in putting more 
effective legislation on the statute books than any other Presi- 
dent since 1846. With reluctance Wilson came to see that 
America's destiny demanded her entrance into the war 
against Germany. His problem was to convice the sections 
from which he drew his support that they must go to war 
against Germany. In regard to the American delegates to 
the Peace Conference, Professor Dodd declared that Wilson 
chose his associates on the basis of agreement with him; 
American experience at Ghent had shown the futility of send- 
ing abroad a brilliant group of negotiators with dissimilar 
views. The mission of Woodrow Wilson was to make Amer- 
ica the instrument of inaugurating a new world order; to 
make America revive her ancient faith in democracy. Pro- 
fessor Dodd holds that we have disappointed the world 
almost as much as Germany. C. H. 








VOL. V— No. 2 

JUNE, 1921 







VOL. V— No. 2 

JUNE, 1921 

One Dollar a Number. Three Dollars a Year 

Entered as second class matter, March 14, 1921, 

at the post office at Macon, Georgia, under the 

act of August 24, 1912. 





First Vice-President 





Corresponding Secretary 


Secretary - Treasurer 




Chairman Publishing Committee 
P. S. FLIPPIN Macon 




R. P. BROOKS Athens 


T. M. CUNNINGHAM, Jr Savannah 



P. S. FLIPPIN Macon 





A. C. NEWELL Atlanta 


W. E. THOMAS Valdosta 


ROBERT PRESTON BROOKS University of Georgia 


ELLIS MERTON COULTER University of Georgia 

CLEO HEARON - Agnes Scott College 

PERCY SCOTT FLIPPIN Mercer University 





Eighty-second Annual Meeting of the Georgia Historical 
Society - 3 

The Constitution of the Confederate States; Its Influ- 
ence on The Union It Sought to Dissolve. 

Judge Andrew /. Cobb-.- — — 7 

Senator A. 0. Bacon. 

Colonel John T, Boifeuillet — 16 

Howell Cobb Papers. 

Edited by Dr. R. P. Brooks - - — 29 

Book Reviews 53 

Exchanges 64 

Historical News 66 

The Georgia Historical Quarterly 

Volume V June, 1921 NumLer 2 


The eighty-second annual meeting of the Georgia Histori- 
cal Society was held April 29, 1921, at the Dempsey Hotel 
in Macon, with Judge Andrew J. Cobb, President of the 
Society, presiding. 

The first paper presented was prepared and read by Judge 
Andrew J. Cobb, the subject of which was "The Constitution 
of the Confederate States ; Its Influence on the Union Which 
It Sought to Dissovle." 

Dr. E. M. Coulter, of the University of Georgia, has made 
a study of 'The Ante-Bellum Academy Movement in Geor- 
gia" — and in his absence this paper was read by Professor 
J. W. W. Daniel, of Wesleyan College. 

Mr. Harry Stillwell Edwards, of Macon, made an appeal 
to the Society and through the Society to the whole State 
of Georgia for the better preservation of the personal and 
family records of historical value. 

A paper prepared by Mr. Henry R. Goetchius, of Colum- 
bus, entitled, **Why the Confederate Soldier Was Neither a 
Rebel Nor a Traitor," was read by Mr. P. F. Brock, of Macon. 

Colonel John T. Boifeuillet prepared a biographical 
sketch of United States Senator A. 0. Bacon, which in his 
absence was read by Mr. Otis Ashmore. 

President Rufus W. Weaver, of Mercer University, and 
President W. F. Quillian, of Wesleyan College, were both 
recognized and spoke briefly expressing the welcome which 


these two institutions and the city of Macon extended to the 

Miss Mary Lane, of the History Club of Macon, presented 
a paper entitled, "Macon : an Historical Retrospect." 

The History Club of Macon, in addition to the paper by 
Miss Lane, furnished the following program: Duo for two 
pianos, Mrs. L H. Adams and Mrs. Dan C. Horgan; Read- 
ings with musical accompaniment. Miss Anna Smith ; Vocal 
selection, Mrs. E. W. Gould. 

The afternoon session was held at Wesleyan College, and 
at the conclusion of the program a reception was tendered 
by the History Club of Macon. 

The report of the Secretary-Treasurer was presented and 
the following summary was made in regard to membership : 
Paying members, 851 ; corresponding members, 6 ; honorary 
members, 5; life members, 4; total, 866. The number of 
those who had paid their membership dues before April 22, 
was 352 ; those whose dues for 1921 were still unpaid num- 
bered 432. Some 42 members have also neglected to pay 
their dues for previous years. 

The Treasurer's report of the Secretary-Treasurer showed 
the following : 

Cash balance October 1, 1920 $ 970.15 

Receipts— October 1, 1920, to Dec. 31, 1920 37.40 

Expenditures 521.67 

Cash balance December 31, 1920 $ 485.88 

Cash balance January 1, 1921 $ 485.88 

Receipts— January 1 to April 22, 1921 1,544.85 

Expenditures 1,508.89 

Cash balance April 22, 1921 $ 521.84 


Permanent Fund — 

U. S. Bonds $1,500.00 

Cash in bank 102.35 

From R. J. Nunn Trust Fund 73.99 

Interest on bonds 31.87 


Publishing Fund balance April 22, 1921 $ 411.92 

U. S. Bonds from Georgia Historical Association.— 500.00 

The report of the Finance Committee, by Mr. J. Florance 
Minis, was largely a summary of the report of the Treasurer. 

The Committee on Publication reported that the Quar- 
terly is being published regularly, and that it is the purpose 
of the committee to make it as creditable a magazine as 

Judge Beverly D. Evans, the chairman of the Committee 
on Membership reported on the special effort which had been 
made to secure new members. Forty new members have 
been received during the year and twelve members have 
resigned from the Society. 

The report of the Librarian, Mr. William Harden, showed 
that 357 books had been added during the year, increasing 
the total to 40,733. The pamphlets number 28,723. 

A resolution was adopted authorizing the formal transfer 
of one hundred shares of Savannah and Augusta Railroad 
stock belonging to the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences 
and held in trust by the Georgia Historical Society, to the 
Board of Trustees of the Telfair Academy of Arts and 

Judge Andrew J. Cobb presented to the Georgia Historical 
Society the gold pen with which his father, Hon. Howell 
Cobb, signed the Constitution of the Confederate States, as 
drafted by the Convention in Montgomery, Ala., of which 
he was president. The Society, by a rising vote, expressed 
its profound appreciation of this gift. 

Acknowledgement was made of a gift of books, dealing 
with Georgia history, written by Miss Mildred Rutherford, 
of Athens, Ga., and presented to the Society. 


The Society expressed its appreciation of the services of 
Mr. Charles F. Groves, who filled for several years the office 
of Secretary-Treasurer. 

Mrs. J. N. Talley, of Macon, Ga., offered a resolution, 
which was adopted, that the teaching of the history of Geor- 
gia in the schools and especially the high schools of the 
State, should be greatly encouraged. 

A committee composed of Dr. R. P. Brooks, Colonel A. R. 
Lawton and Mr. J. Florance Minis, was appointed to recom- 
mend five curators. The following were recommended and 
elected: Mr. F. M. Cunningham, Jr., Mr. Orville A. Park, 
Mr. Lawton B. Evans, Mr. A. C. Newell and Mr. J. Florance 

The present officers were all re-elected. Judge Beverly D. 
Evans was elected Frist Vice President to succeed Dr. F. J. 
Charlton, deceased. 

On motion of Dr. R. P. Brooks, it was agreed that this 
annual meeting should be fully reported in the June issue of 
the Quarterly. 

A committee composed of Mr. Otis Ashmore, Mr. Charles 
F. Groves, Mr. J. Florance Minis and Dr. R. P. Brooks, was 
appointed to revise the list of members and to drop those 
who are in arrears, who, in their judgment, should be no 
longer considered members. 

A resolution was adopted that the Quarterly should not be 
mailed to members who are in arrears. 

It was voted that the senior resident Vice-President living 
in Savannah should act as the representative of the Society 
on the Board of Trustees of the R. J. Nunn Trust Fund. 

The collection of coins which was made by Dr. R. J. Nunn 
was offered to the Society at the nominal sum of one dollar 
and accepted. 


The Constitution of the Confederate States; 

Its Influence on The Union It Sought 

to Dissolve/ 

President of the Georgia Historical Society 

The Convention of 1787, which framed the Constitution 
of the United States, had its origin in the recognized ineffi- 
ciency of the government under the Articles of Confedera- 
tion. In these articles each state expressly retained its 
sovereignty and independence. The only sovereign power 
that could be exercised by the Confederation was in connec- 
tion with foreign relations, and this was hampered by the 
inability of Congress to legislate without the concurrence 
of the states. 

There was neither an executive nor a judiciary, and 
Congress could not reach either the person or property of a 
citizen of a state, except through the constituted authorities 
of the state, and Congress had no power to compel a state to 
act. A voluntary league between sovereign states was all 
that the Articles of Confederation created. The surrender 
of any part of the sovereignty of a state was negligible. 

The single creative act of the Convention of 1787 was the 
bestowal upon the central government, organized by a 
league of sovereign states, of the power to operate directly, 
without the concurrence of the state, upon the person and 
property of the inhabitants thereof. In all else the Conven- 
tion followed with modifications that which had existed and 
was existing. 

The government was divided into its three departments — 
legislative, executive and judicial — as had been in England, 
in all the colonies, and all the states since the day of inde- 
pendence. The rights of individuals, as recognized in the 
four charters of English liberty — the Great Charter, the 

Presented at the eighty-second annual meeting of the Georgia Historical Society, 
AprU 29, 1921. 


Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act, and the Bill of 
Rights, were preserved to the full extent applicable in a re- 
publican form of government. 

As the central government was to have the right to enter 
the domain of a state, it was necessary for the preservation 
of the rights of the state, that the powers of the central 
government should be within defined limits. That the cen- 
tral government might not be hampered in the exercise of its 
delegated powers, it was also necessary that there should be 
limitations upon the power of the states. The Constitution, 
therefore, sets forth the powers of the central government 
and the limitations upon the power of the states. Thus the 
central government has all the power that is delegated, 
either in express terms or by reasonable implication. The 
states have all power that has not been delegated or which 
has not been denied to the states. A grant of power, 
couched in the clearest and most precise terms that ingenu- 
ity and scholarship may devise, will rarely if ever close the 
door to construction. 

A difference of view as to the extent of the powers of the 
central government was coincident with the establishment 
of the government. 

The question as to the tribunal to settle such difference 
also arose. The contention of some was that as the Union 
was the creature of the States, each acting independently, 
each state was the final arbiter as to the powers delegated 
and the powers reserved. Others contended that the cen- 
tral government was the arbiter on all questions of power 
arising under the Constitution. These differed among 
themselves, some contending that each of the three depart- 
ments was independent of the other two, while some main- 
tained that the legislative and executive departments were 
bound by the conclusions reached by the judicial de- 

The right of a state to nullify an act of the Congress, and 
remain a member of the Union, was the doctrine asserted 
by some. The right of a state to dissolve its relation to the 
Union, when the central government exceeded its powers, 
was maintained by others. 


There were those who denied both the power to nullify 
and the authority to secede. One state only in its organized 
capacity committed itself to the doctrine of nullification. 
The power of the general government was so exercised as to 
render its act of nullification ineffectual. Seven states, each 
in its organized capacity, committed themselves to the doc- 
trine of secession. Delegates elected by these states assem- 
bled at Montgomery and framed a constitution providing 
for a Union under a central government composed of seven 
states and other states that might thereafter be admitted 
conformably to the terms of the constitution. 

"The Constitution was modelled on that of the United 
States and followed it with rigid literalness." Alabama and 
Georgia instructed their delegates to form ''a government 
upon the principles of the Constitution of the United 
States." President Davis in his inaugural address said, "We 
have changed the constituent parts, but not the system of 
our government. The Constitution founded by our fathers 
is that of these Confederate States in their exposition of it." 

The promoters of the new government were as much, if 
not more, attached to the principles of the Constitution of 
the United States as the framers of the Constitution of the 
United States were to the four great charters of English lib- 
erty. The changes that were made merely embodied in the 
organic law of the new government, the opinions and claims 
of constitutional right of the Southern statesmen. The 
political thought of the South as to the true interpretation 
of the Constitution found its expression in the Constitution 
of the Confederate States. The preamble recites that "each 
state is acting in its sovereign and independent character" 
and the purpose is "to form a permanent federal govern- 

Certain powers were subjected to express limitations 
which merely declared the construction which had been con- 
tended for as to similar grants of power in the Federal Con- 

The general welfare clause was omitted from the taxing 
grant. Bounties from the Treasury and extra compensation 
to contractors, officers and agents were prohibited. 


No duties or taxes on imports could be levied to promote 
or foster industries. 

Internal improvem.ents, except in connection with river 
navigation, were prohibited, and the cost of such improve- 
ment was to be levied on the navigation facilitated. The 
slave trade was prohibited. The right of property in slaves 
was recognized and guarded. 

All these changes merely carried into effect the interpre- 
tation which had been placed by the framers of the new in- 
strument upon the provision in the Constitution of the 
United States relating to the different subjects. 

The only departure from the terms of the Constitution of 
the United States was in instances where an experience of 
seventy years seemed to demonstrate that a change was 
wise, and all these changes related to administrative 

A seat upon the floor of either house of Congress might 
be granted to the head of an executive department, with 
the right to discuss any measure relating to the department. 
This was to bring the legislative and executive departments 
in closer touch, and give to the executive department the 
privilege of a direct hearing, either in advocacy or opposi- 
tion to pending measures which had to be carried into 
effect by the department. The President could remove at 
pleasure the head of an executive department and persons 
connected with the diplomatic service. Experience had 
demonstrated that the administration of the government 
was at its best when the President was allowed a free hand 
in the choice, both at home and abroad, of those officers who 
should be in sympathy v/ith the plans and policies which the 
President had the right to formulate and follow in the ex- 
ercise of the executive functions which the Constitution had 
vested in him. The right — the unhampered right to remove 
an unsympathetic or obstructive adviser or representative, 
was indispensable. All other civil officers could be removed 
for cause, but the removal and reasons therefor were re- 
quired to be reported to the Senate. No person rejected by 
the Senate could be appointed to the same office during the 
ensuing recess of the Senate. 


The President had the power to disapprove particular 
items in an appropriation bill, which would then become law 
only when passed over the veto thus expressed. This was 
to prevent appropriations which on their merits could not 
command the requisite vote from being carried through by 
a combination of members interested in appropriations 
which lacked the necessary number of votes. The disap- 
proval of any particular item or items would not prevent 
other items which were approved from becoming effective. 

The President was elected for six years and was not re- 
eligible. The unfortunate, undesirable, and sometimes de- 
plorable consequences resulting from the incumbent of the 
office of President using or permitting to be used all the 
prestige, influence and patronage of the office to secure a 
renomination or re-election, had even in that day become 

A court for the investigation of claims against the gov- 
ernment was to be established, and no claim was to be paid 
until its justice was judicially established. 

Jurisdiction of suits between citizens of different states 
was withheld from the Federal Courts. This was to prevent 
defendants from being harassed with suits in places remote 
from their residence. The right of the litigant, whether 
resident or non-resident, to have the Supreme Court ulti- 
mately to pass on questions arising under the Constitution, 
laws and treaties was not impaired by the provision re- 
ferred to. 

Any Federal judge or officer resident or acting solely 
within the limits of a state could be impeached by a two- 
thirds vote of both houses of the legislature thereof. 

This was an assertion of state's rights in its last analysis. 
Direct amenability of the Federal officer to the authorities 
of the state of his official activities would make both ap- 
pointing power and the officer more careful. 

All electors in each state were required to be citizens. 
Senators were to be elected at the session of the Legislature 
immediately preceding the beginning of the term of service. 

Export duties were allowed with the concurrence of two- 
thirds of both houses of Congress. These were prohibited 


by the Constitution of the United States. It was deemed 
wise to open this source of Federal revenue with the restric- 
tion mentioned. 

States divided by rivers, or through which rivers flowed, 
could enter into compacts for improving their navigation, 
and consent of Congress was not required to render such 
compacts valid, as is the case with the Federal Constitution. 

No discharge in bankruptcy could affect debts contracted 
before the passage of the Bankrupt Act. This was the 
state's rights expression of a much mooted question in other 
days. No state was allowed to pass a law impairing the ob- 
ligation of a contract. The Federal government was the 
creature of the states. Therefore, the creature could not 
do that which the creator was prohibited from doing. Such 
was the argument. 

A two-thirds vote of each house of Congress was neces- 
sary to appropriate money, unless it was asked and esti- 
mated by a head of department, and submitted to Congress 
by the President, and a like vote was necessary when the 
purpose was to pay the "expenses and contingencies" of 

This seems to be the first recognition in this country of 
the budget system. 

Every law must relate to one subject only, and that must 
be expressed in the title of the law. 

This was to remedy three evils — first, the incorporation 
of "riders" on bills relating to matters wholly foreign to the 
subject of the bill; second, what is commonly called "log 
rolling," that is, the insertion of a number of subjects in one 
bill some of which could not be passed standing alone, and 
third, legislation in the body of the bill attention to which 
was not called by the title of the bill. 

The notorious "Yazoo Act" of this state is the conspicuous 
example of how a law authorizing the sale of a large area of 
public land could be passed under the apparently harmless 
title, "A bill to be entitled an act for the relief of the sol- 
diers in the late war." 


New states could be admitted, but only by a two-thirds 
vote of each house, the Senate voting by states. 

The Constitution could be amended only by a convention 
of the states, which could be demanded by three states in 
their several conventions. The convention could propose 
only the amendments suggested by the states making the 
call for the convention, and the amendments so proposed 
must be ratified by two-thirds of the states. 

'The Confederate Constitution was the embodiment of 
the state rights and republican construction of our organic 

Its distinguishing features were: 

First : Guarantees against anti-slavery ; 

Second : Prevention of the enlargement of the powers of 
the Federal government; 

Third : Safeguards against the taxing power. 

The Montgomery convention was representative not only 
of the best political thought of the South, but of the entire 

The spirit of the Constitution framed at Montgomery, 
disconnected with the subject of slavery, still lives, and its 
wisdom has been and is being vindicated. 

The budget system is now in the law of several states, 
advocated in many others, and will soon be in the law of the 
United States. 

The Court of Claims, originally established in 1855, with 
its enlarged jurisdiction, is a recognition of the principle 
that the justice of claims against the government should be 
judicially established. 

The established policy of the several states and of the 
general government is at this day against the payment of 
extra compensation to public officers and contractors; and 
the sentiment of the country is against the payment of 
bounties from the public treasury. 

The soundness of the inhibition against the use of the 
taxing power to promote and foster industries has met with 
judicial recognition in Loan Association vs. Topeka, 20 Wal- 
lace, 655, where Mr. Justice Miller says : *To lay with one 


hand the power of the government on the property of the 
citizen, and with the other to bestow it upon favored indi- 
viduals, to aid private enterprises and build up private for- 
tunes, is none the less robbery because it is done under the 
forms of law and is called taxation." 

The rules of both the House and Senate each declare in 
substance the principle that bills should relate to one subject 
only and that should be expressed in the title of the bill. 

Many states, Georgia included, now declare that voters 
must be citizens. The right of the denizen, the half natur- 
alized foreigner, to vote is rapidly disappearing, even if it 
has not already disappeared. 

The acquittal of President Johnson on the charge of hav- 
ing violated the law in the removal of Secretary of War 
Stanton was a declaration that the President had the right 
to remove a member of the Cabinet, and it must be remem- 
bered that this acquittal came notwithstanding an Act of 
Congress which declared that the President could not re- 
move such officer without the consent of the Senate. The 
socalled ''Tenure of office act" was in effect declared uncon- 
stitutional in the judgment rendered. 

Senators are now elected by the people and not by the Leg- 
islature, and the law provides that they shall be elected at 
the general election immediately preceding the term of 

The appearance of heads of departments before congres- 
sional committees when the affairs of the department are 
under consideration, which is now so common, may in time 
develop into the larger privilege of appearing before the 
whole house. 

A referee or referees in a state to advise the President 
as to appointments of Federal officers whose activities are 
to be within the state is a mild, very mild, recognition that 
the people of the state should be consulted on these matters. 

There has been for some years and is now a recognition 
that the Federal Courts should have jurisdiction of cases 
between citizens of different states only where the amount 
involved is large or the questions grave. 


It is interesting to note that some of the provisions of the 
Constitution of the Confederate States appear in the Con- 
stitution of this state. 

The Constitution of Georgia of 1777, allowed inhabitants 
having certain qualifications to vote. The Constitution of 
1798 allowed only citizens to vote, and such was the provis- 
ion in the Constitution of 1861 and 1865. The Constitution 
of 1868 allowed citizens and those who had legally declared 
their intention to become citizens to vote. 

The present Constitution limits the right to vote to 

The provision that the purpose of the law must be ex- 
pressed in the title first appeared in the Constitution of 
1798. The tradition is that this was inserted in the Consti- 
tution by Governor James Jackson to prevent the recurrence 
of a "Yazoo fraud." 

This provision appears in all subsequent constitutions. 

It would seem, therefore, that the provision on this sub- 
ject in the Constitution of the Confederate States was a 
Georgia contribution to that instrument. 

The rule that a law should have only one subject first 
appears in the Constitution of 1861 and reappears in every 
later constitution. This is also true as to the provision that 
a person rejected by the Senate shall not be appointed to the 
same office during the ensuing recess; and also as to the 
right of the Governor to disapprove particular items in an 
appropriation bill. 

The government formed at Montgomery did not perpetu- 
ate its existence, and slavery has ceased to exist, but the 
political wisdom of the convention survives and is still oper- 
ative in the governmental affairs of the Union and the 
States. When the origin of measures of governmental re- 
form, now existing or that may hereafter appear, is sought, 
the Constitution of the Confederate States should not be 
overlooked as a source. When prejudice is conquered, and 
calm judgment is pronounced, it will take its place among 
the historic documents of the country. 


Senator A. 0. Bacon of Georgia^ 


In the dawning of the Twentieth Century, and the open- 
ing of the great gates of the future upon the fruitful glories 
of a new era — ^when Cuban Independence was accomplished 
under our National aegis, and the "Open Door" policy was 
established, which gave all nations equal commercial privi- 
leges in China — ^when the Pan-American Union was success- 
fully formed for the purpose of promoting friendship and 
commerce between the twenty-one republics of the Western 
Hemisphere — ^when the genius and patriotism of the best 
American statesmanship sought to obtain the peaceful set- 
tlement of international disputes by arbitration, and secure 
the absolute equality of all nations, both great and small, 
Augustus O. Bacon, of Georgia, was a towering figure and 
commanding influence in the Senate of the United States, 
and illustrated the honor and greatness of this State and 
her people. 

Senator Bacon impressed himself forcibly upon the minds 
and hearts of his fellow countrymen, not only on account of 
his great ability and lofty patriotism, but because they had 
absolute faith in the integrity of his motives and in the 
rectitude of his purposes. They had perfect confidence in 
the sincerity of his actions, and placed the fullest trust in 
his unfaltering devotion to the highest ideals of his office. 
He abhorred hypocrisy and deceit. Envy had no place in 
his heart. He was incapable of the insidious wiles of the 
crafty politician. He never attempted to employ the arts of 
the self-seeking demagogue. He was always guided by a 
high sense of duty. He was "in action faithful, and in honor 
clear." His principle was to act right, regardless of per- 
sonal consequences. He sought to do equal and exact 
justice to all. 

In illustration of his uprightness and justice, it can be 
stated that once when there was talk that certain impeach- 

Presented at the eighty -second annual meeting of the Georgia Historical Society, 
April 29, 1921. 


merit proceedings might be instituted, he was asked, in a 
party of political supporters who favored the proposed im- 
peachment, how he would vote in the event the trial was 
held. His stern and independent reply in the matter was in 
the firm and bold spirit of the memorable response of Lord 
Coke to James I. of England : 

'When the case happens, I shall do that which it shall be 
fit for a judge to do." 

The saying of the Greeks can be appropriately applied to 
Senator Bacon: 

''What Themistocles was to the rest of the Athenians in 
acute foresight, wisdom, and vigor, Aristides was to every 
statesman in Greece in incomparble purity and integrity of 
public life, and no one has dared to dispute his well-won 
title of The Just." 

Immediately upon Senator Bacon's entrance into the 
Senate he took rank with the leaders by reason of his fine 
ability, his tact as a parliamentarian, his knowledge of leg- 
islative procedure, and his familiarity with public affairs. 
His ripe experience and mature judgment, his legal learning 
and forensic talents, his dignified bearing and courtly man- 
ners, gave him instant prestige. He grew steadily into a 
national figure, and was a powerful influence in the senato- 
rial contests of his time. He was capable of filling the high- 
est position under the government. In him were embodied 
all the elements of a statesman and a patriot. The love of 
country was in his heart. His career was eminent. 

Senator Bacon planted himself firmly upon the Constitu- 
tion of his country. To him it was ''a pillar of cloud by day 
and a pillar of fire by night." He was its sleepless guard and 
valiant defender. He believed that the spirit of the Con- 
stitution would live as long as our civilization blessed us 
with full appreciation of the benefits of government and the 
joys of liberty. 

He regarded the honor, the rights, and the dignity of the 
Senate as high and sacred trusts. 

No man has been truer, or firmer, or bolder in espousing 
democratic principles, upholding State's rights, advocating 


white supremacy, and resisting any usurpation of power. 
He met with manly firmness every responsibility imposed 
upon him. 

Senator Bacon had bravely battled as a Confederate 
soldier, and was ever the able, active, and earnest champion 
of the South, her institutions, and her people ; yet as a Sen- 
ator of the United States, he appreciated and realized that to 
him, in part, had been confided the honor, safety, and peace 
of the entire country, and that he was intrusted with 
large powers in the exercise of which happiness or misery, 
prosperity or adversity would result to the nation. It was 
his aspiration that this Republic might be forever blessed 
with wise, humane and beneficent government. He was ever 
ready to say, "peace, be still" to the angry elements of dis- 
cord and the stormy waters of sectional dissensions. His 
patriotic love and solicitude reached to the utmost circle of 
the land. He could say with Prince Edward, when contem- 
plating the long War of the Roses and the cheering prospects 
of its termination : 

'Tree from the passionate animosities of either faction 
— Yorkist and Lancastrian — ^whether victor from the field 
of Towton or St. Albans, are but Englishmen to me, to 
whom I can accord justice to all who serve, pardon to all 
who oppose." 

Senator Bacon "knew enough of the world to know that 
there was nothing in it better than the faithful service of 
the heart." He walked in the paths of honor. He was the 
unsullied gentleman. He measured up to the true test of 
fidelity which is constancy in the hour of peril, devotion in 
the season of affliction. In integrity of character, in capac- 
ity and learning, in patriotism, and as one tried and proven 
in the public service, he stands forth an example for the 
emulation of youth. By his labors education was advanced, 
industry promoted, resources developed, society protected, 
the personal and material interests of the citizen guarded, 
and civil and religious liberty preserved. He has left a rich 
legacy to his family and friends — the legacy of an honorable 
and useful life. 


He took the oath of office as a Senator on March 4, 1895. 

Never in the history of the Senate has there been a 
Senator more punctual in his attendance upon its sessions. 
The remarkble fact can be stated to his enduring credit, 
that in a service of nineteen years he was never absent from 
his seat a day except from providential causes. Neither his 
personal business nor pleasure drew him away in a single 
instance. So absolutely devoted was he to his senatorial 
work that he gave up every thought of everything else in the 
way of occupation, and his greatest ambition was to be 
thought worthy of the place by those who so greatly hon- 
ored and trusted him, to deserve their approbation and con- 
tinued friendship, and to do all in his power to serve their 
interests to the very best of his ability. Anybody who has 
been in touch with affairs at Washington knows that he was 
unremitting in his labors, untiring in his activities. 

In 1912, when Senator Bacon was a candidate for renom- 
ination in the primary and had active opposition, he jeopard- 
ized his interests by refusing to absent himself a moment 
from the Senate to go to Georgia to participate in the cam- 
paign. He was unwilling to neglect the public interests by 
abandoning his place there to advance his political welfare. 
He said that his duty and obligations required his presence 
in Wasington, and he would leave his candidacy in the hands 
and care of his constituents. He declared that at last his 
struggles must be in the confidence of the people, and that 
confidence largely rested upon the opinions and judgment of 
men as to how efficiently he had performed his work, and 
whether he had been faithful and true to his trust. That he 
had the confidence and love, the praise and gratitude of his 
people, that they realized in fullest measure the great value 
and influence of his able patriotic services, that they recog- 
nized the honor and dignity which always characterized his 
personal and official life, and that they appreciated the 
distinction and eminence achieved by him, was attested by 
the fact that he was overwhelmingly renominated, and in 
1913 was unanimously reelected by popular vote. 

Senator Bacon had the distinction of being the first Sen- 
ator elected from the State of Georgia to the third consecu- 


tive term and the only Senator ever elected for four terms. 
He possessed the further distinction of having been the first 
Senator elected in the United States under the amend- 
ment to the Federal Constitution providing for the election 
of United States Senators by direct vote of the people. 

He was elected President pro tempore of the Senate in the 
Sixty-second Congress, serving a part of the years 1912 and 
1913, and performed the duties of the office ably, imparti- 
ally, expeditiously, and with dignity and courtesy. He was 
justly recognized as one of the ablest parliamentarians and 
most accomplished presiding officers ever in either branch 
of Congress. Before entering the Senate he had served eight 
years as Speaker of the House of Representatives of Geor- 
gia. No other Georgian was ever speaker continuously for 
so long a time. Until Senator Bacon became President pro 
tempore of the Senate it had been one hundred years since a 
Georgia Senator had held that office. The last Georgian 
prior to him was the great William H. Crawford, who was 
President pro tempore during the Twelfth Congress, which 
convened on November 4, 1811, and adjourned on March 
3, 1813. 

In October, 1912, when Vice President Sherman, who was 
President of the Senate, died. Senator Bacon was President 
pro tempore, and to him fell making the arrangements for 
the Senate's participation in the funeral ceremonies. On the 
second Wednesday in February, 1913, when, according to 
law, the members of the Senate and House assembled to- 
gether in the House to open and count the electoral votes 
for President and Vice President of the United States, Sen- 
ator Bacon, as President pro tempore, presided over the 
joint session and officially proclaimed the result and declared 
Woodrow Wilson and Thomas R. Marshall duly elected. 

A distinct compliment was paid him when he was chosen 
by the Senate to preside over the Archibald court of im- 
peachment, especially so in view of the fact that the defend- 
ant was of a different political faith from Senator Bacon and 
the Senator a member of the minority party in the Senate 
at the time. The ability, fairness, ease and dignity with 


which he presided provoked universal encomiums. All of 
his rulings in this trial were sustained though the hearing 
lasted for several weeks and there were eleven able and 
earnest lawyers in the case. 

Senator Bacon was a member of a number of committees 
which are powerful factors in determining much important 
legislation. His favorites were the Committees on the Judi- 
ciary, Foreign Relations, and Rules. He was a member of 
the Judiciary Committee for seventeen years, of the Foreign 
Relations Committee for fifteen years and of the Rules Com- 
mittee thirteen years. He had been the ranking Democratic 
member on each of these committees for many years, while 
the Republicans were in the majority in the Senate ; and upon 
the Democratic reorganization of the Senate in March, 1913, 
he could have had, not only because of his pre-eminent qual- 
ifications, but, according to precedent, practice, and the rule 
of seniority, the chairmanship of either of these committees 
he preferred. He was peculiarly well fitted to be at the 
head of the Judiciary Committee, as he was a sound consti- 
tutional lawyer, with broad and varied experience at the 
practice. Likewise he was thoroughly equipped to be the 
leader of the Rules Committee, because of his perfect famil- 
iarity with Senate procedure and complete knowledge of 
parliamentary law. He selected the chairmanship of the 
great, important, and influential committee on Foreign 
Relations, for which he was splendidly qualified. Always 
conspicuous in the Senate, he was particularly prominent in 
matters pertaining to foreign relations. Senator Bacon 
had made a special study of the question of treaties, and of 
international law generally, and in addition had traveled ex- 
tensively abroad, studying the conditions and customs of 
the people and their forms of government, all of which were 
of great assistance and material value to him in the dis- 
charge of his onerous duties as chairman. His wise counsel 
and sound judgment, his clear perceptions and farsighted 
vision, his high sense of right and justice, and his broad 
American patriotism made him eminently strong, influen- 
tial, and useful in this responsible position. His delibera- 
tions were deep and conscientious, and his attitude was that 


of a man with a wide and true human interest. The com- 
mittee has never had a chairman better fitted than Senator 
Bacon was for the exalted trust, one more eminent in all 
those qualities necessary to the discharge of the high func- 
tions of the office. That he was regarded as just and fair 
in his consideration of Pan-American affairs is shown by 
the following resolution of sympathy which was adopted on 
his death by the assembly of the Department of Santander, 
Colombia : 

"Interpreting the patriotic sentiments of the worthy 
people whom it represents, and considering the expression 
of its sympathy and appreciation as an act of justice to 
those who have labored or labor, for the supreme rights of 
the country and humanity, it deeply regrets the death of 
Senator Bacon, who placed his highest abilities at the serv- 
ice of Colombia and the weak nations, battling for her in 
the Congress of his country, in connection with the events 
that took place in Panama." 

President Wilson and Secretary of State Bryan continu- 
ally sought his counsel and advice. For weeks at a time 
during the severe stress of the Mexican trouble and while the 
arbitration treaties were pending. Senator Bacon was in 
almost daily conference either at the White House or at 
the Department of State. Referring to a certain important 
diplomatic matter the President said in a note written to 
the Senator shortly before his last illness : 

"I have already told you how I appreciate your efforts to 
sow the right impressions and expectations, but I want to 
tell you again how much I value your co-operation." 

In a still later note, with reference to a communication 
Senator Bacon had written to Secretary Bryan, concerning 
a critical foreign question, the President wrote : 

"I am sincerely obliged to you. It has helped to clear my 

Not very long before the Senator's death he received a 
very cordial note from the President, relating to a very ser- 
ious subject, in which he said: 

"The way in which you have handled the matter makes 
me warm around the heart. I certainly feel deeply grateful 


for the support you are giving me. You have my sincere 

Senator Bacon was a self -immolated martyr to his official 
duty. During the last week that he was at the Capitol in the 
discharge of his labors an insidious fever had seized upon 
him and he should have been at home in his bed, particularly 
as the earth was covered with a heavy mantle of snow, sleet 
was falling, and all weather conditions were very bad. But 
so anxious was he to have certain important treaty matters 
reported out of the committee to the Senate that he held 
three meetings of the Committee on Foreign Relations on 
three separate days that week, and the desired action in re- 
gard to the treaties was taken, and the report was made by 
Senator Bacon to the Senate. The third and last meeting 
was held on Friday. On leaving his office that afternoon, at 
the close of the Senate's session. Senator Bacon remarked 
that his fever was quite high and he apprehended he would 
be unable to be at the Capitol the following day. He never 
returned, save when his lifeless body was borne into the 
Senate chamber about two weeks later for the funeral 

Senator Bacon was qualified for the prompt and intelli- 
gent consideration of every govermental question which 
was presented for his action. He was possessed of a learn- 
ing which richly entitled him to the credit of a scholar. He 
was well grounded in the fundamental principles upon which 
rest the laws which he was called upon to effect by legisla- 
tion. He was versed in the whole science of political econo- 
my. He was perfectly familiar with the history of his own 
land, and in this way had that knowledge requisite for a 
proper understanding and appreciation of the institutions 
and laws of his country. Consequently he took active part in 
the discussion of every great subject that came before the 
Senate during his remarkable career of nineteen years. 
There is scarcely a number of the Congressional Record in 
that time that does not contain the evidences of his work. 

His speeches covered a wide range of topics. They em- 
braced every momentous subject affecting the growth, 


development and prosperity of the whole country and con- 
tributing to the peace, contentment and happiness of ail the 
people. While he was forceful, logical, illuminating, and 
informing at all times, whether discussing the tariff, cur- 
rency, railroad rates, and postal affairs, or debating the 
rights of the Senate, election of Senators by popular vote, 
agriculture, commerce, and education, he was never more 
potent, earnest, lucid, and interesting than when arguing 
constitutional questions and matters of international law 
and foreign relations. His speeches on these three last 
named subjects showed the acute mind and the far-seeing 
eye, and not only made their impress upon the Senate and 
throughout this country, but attracted marked attention 
across the seas. 

One of his memorable speeches was delivered on a resolu- 
tion introduced by him "declaring the purpose of the United 
States not permanently to retain the Phillipine Islands, but 
to give the people thereof their liberty." This effort was an 
oration which recalled **the first race of American states- 
men. This nation and foreign lands became deeply 
engrossed in the discussion which the proposition provoked. 
Amid intense interest the vote was taken on the resolution, 
and it resulted in a tie. The Vice-President cast his vote in 
opposition, and the resolution was lost. 

One of the first intellects in this Republic was former 
Senator Spooner, of Wisconsin. He achieved eminence at 
the bar, and won distinction in the public service. When in 
the Senate he was a man of mark and power. He and Senator 
Bacon often met in intellectual contest in that great field of 
oratorical triumphs. Referring to a debate which occurred 
between them in February, 1906, the Hartford (Conn.) 
Courant made the following complimentary and interesting 
editorial comment: 

"Take down an old volume of the Congressional Globe and 
read one of the debates on foreign affairs in which Lewis 
Cass and John M. Clayton were pitted against each other — 
for instance the debate (famous in its time) on the merits 
of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. Then take Monday's Con- 


gressional Record and read the report therein of the debate 
between Mr. Bacon, of Georgia, and Mr. Spooner, of Wis- 
consin, on the constitutional powers of the President and 
Senate in treaty making. It would be scant praise to say 
that the Bacon-Spooner debate is the more readable of the 
two. For intellectual vigor, grip of the matter in hand, 
compactness and lucidity in statement, brisk alertness in the 
give and take of dialectic fence, and last, but not least, good 
English, the Bacon-Spooner debate is the abler of the two. 
Daniel Webster would have listened to every word of it 
attentatively, with keen interest and pleasure ; Calhoun and 
Clay also." 

In speaking. Senator Bacon seldom left the lines of logical 
argument and philosophical reasoning, but at times he would 
employ pathos, love and beauty as messengers to men's 
hearts. There was in his nature a touch of the tenderest 
sentiment. In closing his remarks in the Senate on the res- 
olution to establish a "Mothers' Day," and to observe it by 
wearing a white flower, he said : 

"Mr. President, unfortunately for me, a white rose will 
not bring back to me the memory of my mother, for I have 
no memory of her. I was not a year old when she died. But 
I would wear it, Mr. President, not because of danger that I 
would forget I owe to her my life, but because I would be 
glad of the opportunity to manifest the fact that, although I 
do not remember ever to have seen her, I have always loved 
her memory." 

It may be pathetically remarked in this connection that 
Senator Bacon's father died several months before the Sen- 
ator was born. 

The Senate is an unsurpassed field for the display of genu- 
ine talent. Here Senator Bacon's genius was in its first 
action. He had an "iron memory," and such were the 
resources of his mind and so abounding was the wealth of 
his information that he delivered his great speeches without 
the use of manuscript. He never prepared in writing any of 
his notable efforts. The only pages which he had were "the 
leaves which he tore out from the vast valume of his 


mind." Nature had smoothed a channel for his thoughts, 
and his ideas easily flowed in clear streams. He delivered 
exhaustive arguments on the tariff and finance, spoke elab- 
orately on profound matters of law, and discussed moment- 
ous affairs of state without a moment's preparation, speak- 
ing entirely impromptu, on the impulse of the instant. Yet 
his presentation of the subject was like a brilliant panorama 
— everything had been made clear and visible to the sight 
and understanding. 

He delivered more than fifty able and strong extemporane- 
ous addresses, which, if they had been made by many other 
men, would have been "set speeches," prepared after great 
effort and long time, reduced to writing, and spoken from 

The march of his mind through his subject was dauntless 
and resistless — the triumphal progress of King Thought. 

When he arose to speak. Senators gave instant and 
close attention and visitors in the galleries manifested the 
keenest interest. Everyone had a listening ear. 

Senator Bacon always took position immediately at his 
desk while speaking. Neither his own zeal nor the excite- 
ment of others caused him to move away from this accus- 
tomed place. He stood a Saul among Titans. Like some 
gigantic oak in the forest, he towered among his fellows, 
unshakingly facing the storm of debate, unswayed by the 
winds of passion, and calmly surveying the scene when the 
rushing turbulance of the hour had subsided. As he faced 
an opponent in discussion he bore the unclouded brow and 
noble mien of the highest type of statesman. His imposing 
presence carried with it the innate dignity of command 
which "girded him as with a sword of power." His inherent 
courtesy and courtliness won cheerful homage. 

Senator Bacon loved truth — that essence of the highest 
manhood, that indestructible power whose victories are 
"hymned by harps which are strung to the glories of the 
skies" and, like God himself, lives on and on, "the same yes- 
terday, today, and forever." During the many years he was 
in the Senate, he was never known to temporize with or 


deceive or mislead anyone who sought his personal aid or 
official assistance. He was not of those that "keep the word 
of promise to our ear, and break it to our hope.'* He was a 
striking model of candor and frankness. Truth and sincer- 
ity ran like silver currents through his nature. 

The melancholy tidings of the death of Senator Bacon, on 
February 14, 1914, in the City of Washington, plunged the 
people of his native State of Georgia into mourning and 
were heard with sadness throughout this entire country and 
in many distant lands. The Senate was in session at the 
hour of his demise, and the announcement of the unexpected 
and distressing event carried grief to the heart of every 
Senator. A deep and solemn stillness instantly pervaded 
the Chamber, for all realized that one of the pillars of the 
Senate had fallen. The Senate immediately adjourned for 
the day, sorrowfully and tearfully. 

Desiring to pay to his momory that love, honor, and 
respect so eminently due, and which the Senators felt and 
entertained in such profound degree, his lifeless form a few 
days later was borne into the Senate Chamber, so long cher- 
ished and beloved by him, and, in the imposing presence of 
the Vice President, the members of the Cabinet, the Speaker 
of the House, Senators and Representatives, the Chief Justice 
and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, diplomats, 
and other public functionaries, and the galleries crowded 
to their utmost capacity with sorrowing friends, impressive 
religious ceremonies were held. The body, escorted by a 
delegation from the Senate and House, was carried to Geor- 
gia for interment in Macon, the Senator's home city, and 
when Atlanta, the capital of the State, was reached, it was 
met at the depot by a vast concourse of citizens and the 
military, headed by the Governor and all the State House 
officers, members of the various courts, and Confederate 
veterans. Fifty thousand mourning people lined the streets 
along which the great funeral procession passed from the 
depot to the Capitol, where the remains laid in state for sev- 
eral hours and were viewed by more than ten thousand 
persons. No greater demonstration of love was ever paid to 
any other Georgian, living or dead. 


Upon the arrival of the body at Macon there was another 
great outpouring of the people in honor of the memory of 
the distinguished dead. The remains were placed in the 
City Hall, and all during the night a steady stream of grief- 
stricken friends flowed past the bier. On the day of the 
burial there was a remarkable display of deepest feeling. The 
mournful cadence of the people's sorrow was heard through- 
out the borders of the State. The overshadowing gloom 
bespoke their woe. 

Under the blue skies and fleecy clouds of his beloved 
Southland, he lies in final earthly rest in beautiful Rose Hill 
cemetery, where the rustling murmurings of the foliage 
speak in answering language to the changeful melodies of 
the near-by river, and where bloom the forget-me-nots of 
affectionate remembrance and the immortelles of lasting 


Howell Cobb Papers 

Edited by R. P. BROOKS, Ph.D. 

University of Georgia 


Macon, Ga., June 21st, 1846. 
My dear Sister: 

My object in going to Sumpter ^ [Co.] was to buy a 

tract of land belonging to the estate of Paul Fitzsimmons 

which joins the place I recently purchased. I rode all over 

the crop of Mr. Butts' growing on the land he sold me. The 

corn was all nearly in the roasting ear & the cotton averaged 

over two feet high all over the plantation on the 15th June. 

This puts me out of conceit of cultivating poor land any 

more. The cotton there is now actually almost as large as a 

great deal of mine in Bibb & much of yours in Baldwin will 

get to be by frost. It looks like working for nothing to tend 

such land as a great deal I am cultivating. I shall try & buy 

some more land in Sumpter & get down there with all my 

hands. The land I own there is as rich as a river bittom, I 

never saw better land anywhere not even on Seotohatchee 

that Andrew brags on. I am decidedly in love with 

Sumpter. If Howell owned open land enough there for all 

his force he could make 500 bags of cotton averaging 

400 pounds every year, which at 7 cents per pound would 

yield a cozy little sum of $14,000, almost three times as 

much as his crops now bring. There is a place near mine 

which will be sold at administrator's sale in the course of 

a year or so, which if we could raise the wind to purchase, 

he would live like a prince afterwards. It belongs to the 

estate of Mr. Cowart 

In Southwest Georgia, a new and rich agricultural region. 



Washington City, Jan. 14th, 1847. 
My dear Wife : 

Your last suggestion on the subject of your finances in- 
duces me to believe that another hundred dollars would not 
be unacceptable, and as I have now just about that amount 
on hand, I send it to you. If I had it I would send more as I 
feel certain that in your demands you always keep at the 
lowest mark that you can possibly get along with. 

On the subject of sending the boys to school to Mr. Driver 
as he is now teaching in your neighborhood I have no doubt 
that it would be best to do so. I do not entertain those fears 
on the subject of their morals which seem to keep you from 
sending [them]. Not that I feel less solicitous than your- 
self, but from the fact that I believe that the moral charac- 
ter of boys is formed from the instructions and examples of 
those with whom they associate at home. They must come 
in contact with the wickedness of the world and better that 
their young minds should be prejudiced against it at a time 
when the temptations to indulge are fewer and less potent 
than at an advanced age when the wily [illegible] may lead 
them into evil practices under the plea that it is time they 
were learning the ways of the world. Children who have 
been taught at home to look upon their parents as their 
confidants will freely communicate every thing which comes 
within their knowledge or observation and thus enable the 
parent to instruct their mind upon the strength of their 
practical experience, but if kept in ignorance of the world's 
ways until they feel a reliance upon their own judgment 
they then become more disposed to indulge their passions 
and conceal that indulgence from the knowledge of their 
parents. Look at the history of those boys who have been 
taught by private preceptors and nine cases out of ten they 
have fallen upon dissipated habits of life, so soon as they 
have been permitted to travel beyond the roof of their 
father's house. This is my reasoning on the subject & of its 

C!obb was at this time a member of Congress ; his family remained in Athens, Ga. 


correctness I have no doubt. Whilst you have yet the con- 
fidence of your children send them out in the world & learn 
from them the impressions made upon their young minds 
by the scenes into which they are thrown, thereby affording 
you an opportunity of giving them wholesome practical ad- 
vice. In this matter do as you think best and your course 
will certainly have my approval 


Milledgeville, Ga., Dec. 24th, 1847. 
Dear Sir : 

I was gratified in the reception of a letter from you today, 
but the suggestion it contained in reff erence to the selection 
of dellegates to the Baltimore Convt. was too late, as the 
Party had arranged that matter previously. On the evening 
of the 22nd, the State House presented a singular and inter- 
esting spectacle. The Democracy in the Representative 
€hamber zealously maintaining the justice, propriety, and 
necessity of the war.2 The Whigs in the Senate Chamber, 
denying these positions, but lauding its achievements and 
presenting its Hero as their candidate for the Presidency. 
It seemed to me a strange inconsistency to abuse the war 
that furnished them with material's of so much glorification, 
in the person of old Zac. They nominated Taylor for the 
Presidency and adopted resolutions to carry it out, but the 
particulars, I do not know. It was a long time before they 
could raise the wind, and would have failed altogether but 
for the courtesy of Crawford,^ who after he had performed 
all the duties of Clerk to the meeting became its Orator. He 
made the only speech, — tho Bartow and other bloods were 
there. In the absence of the committee to draft resolutions 
and determine on the action of the Convention Messrs. 
Chappell,^ McCallister and the Constitutionalist entertained 
us with a few flourishes of Rhetoric, tho I must confess that 
I have heard much more powerful displays, yet I suppose 

Member of Georgia State Senate. 

Mexican War. 

Wm. H. Crawford, of Sumter Co., Secretary of the Senate. 

Absolom H. Chappell, of Columbus, Ga., Member of Congress, 1843-1845. 


it was well enough as they cheered them terribly. Chappell 
is no orator, McCallister is overrated — the other had just 
been married and therefore could not come it. Judge Cone 
was chairman of the committee tho the whole Democratic 
ground was covered, and with all the best declaration of 
principles to my opinion that has been presented to the 
people by any previous convention. We involuntarily 
cheered on the reading of some of the resolutions. Our del- 
egates for the state are Chappell and McCallister. The 
others as far as I recollect are Cone, McDonald, H. Hull, 
Prior, Foreman — I don't now recollect the others — one taken 
from each Congressional District. After the Baltimore 
nomination a convention is to meet in Milledgeville to form 
an Electoral Tickett. 

We have some two hundred and fifty bills before us, many 
of importance ; the Tax bill not yet taken up in the Senate ; 
the appropriation bill not sent to us yet. The old Tax law 
with twenty percent increase will be adopted, I expect. They 
tried an Ad Valorem Bill in the house but it failed, they are 
going to renew it in the Senate, it will fail. Tresvant claim 
has passed both branches, — innumerable R. R. Charters 
have been granted — one from Athens to Clarksville. The 
extension Bill has passed (W. A. R. R.), the Hiwassee com- 
pany permitted to run her road to Dalton or any other point 
West to connect. The Womans Law passed the Senate, they 
will kill it in the House.^ My conscience, what a blow up 
there will be with the people. A session longer by two weeks 
than usual and the House have raised their compensation to 
five dollars per day ; they can't, nor won't stand it. They will 
hurl the Whigs out of power, unless with their usual adroit- 
ness they run the people mad after Taylor, as they did after 
Harrison, and so overlook their extravagent course. I don't 
know that there will be any necessity for the Legislature to 
meet again until Berrien's term is out, as the whole country 
now is incorporated, and can make their own laws. We have 
about 500 imperiums in one imperio. I have been in error 
all my life, and now fear state usurpation & tyrany, much 

A Bill for the protection and preservation of the rights and property of married 


more than Federal. A dust is kicked up about Federal 
power and with the view of blinding the people's eyes, that 
the concentrated wealth may riot on the hard earnings of 
poverty. I dread nothing from consolidation, I would rather 
serve one master than bear the name of freeman and be a 
slave to thousands. "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but 
speak the words of truth and soberness." 

Some of my friends have told me they would write to our 
members in reference to William. I hope his application will 
be successful. I am assured you will use your exertions. 
You will excuse this scroll. In great haste. 



Washington City, June 27, 1848. 
Within my recollection, there has been no Presidential 
election involving so many and such important issues as the 
present. The Whig party of the Union, in proposing to take 
the administration of the government into their hands, vir- 
tually present all the issues which they have sought to en- 
graft upon the legislation of the country, during the long 
period in which their efforts have been attended with dis- 
comfiture and defeat. There is no better rule by which to 
anticipate what may be their future course, than to examine 
and ascertain what has been their past conduct under similar 
circumstances. In the political canvass of 1840 many and 
solemn were the assurances offered to the people in the 
various sections of the country, that the triumph of the 
Whig party would be unattended with any effort to renew 
the charter of the United States Bank, to revive the oppres- 
sive system of a protective tariff, etc., etc., and yet no sooner 
was that party elevated to power by a too generous and 
confiding people, than all the appliances of party machinery 
were brought to bear upon the refractory spirits, who man- 
ifested, for a short period, a disposition to act in good faith 
upon their numerous and soon to be forgotten professions, 

* Editor of "The Southern Banner," Athens, Ga. 


made to the people pending the election; and with what 
effect these appliances were used, may be learned by refer- 
ence to the records of that memorable Congress of '41 and 
'42, upon the pages of which you will find the two vetoed 
bank charters, in close company with the bankrupt law and 
tariff act of '42, enduring monuments of the honesty and 
sincerity with which those pretended representatives of 
the people had carried out their many solemn pledges of 
reform, retrenchment, and relief, which they had so freely 
made during the canvass, and then so shamefully violated. 

If the rule I have laid down, to ascertain the probable 
effect of Whig supremacy be a correct one, let the people 
ponder well upon the legislation to which I have just re- 
ferred, before they again allow the government to pass into 
the hands of those who have heretofore availed themselves 
of their temporary elevation to power, to fasten upon them 
the most odious and oppressive acts that have ever disgraced 
our statute books. But if I judge them too harshly, they 
have it in their power to relieve themselves from the impu- 
tation which the inferences I have drawn cast upon them 
by a frank, open and honest profession of their principles ; 
and until such avowal is made, they must not complain if 
we judge them by the record of their own making. 

The name of Gen. Taylor whom they present as their can- 
didate for the Presidency, affords no protection to the people 
against a repetition of the legislation of '41 and '42, so long 
as he adheres to that inflexible rule he has prescribed for 
himself, to make no disclosure to the public, of the political 
principles which he holds, or the public measures he will 
recommend, whilst the name of Mr. Millard Fillmore stands 
associated with those offensive measures, in the intimate 
relationship of friend and father. 

Apart from these important questions of national policy, 
there is involved in the present election another issue, vitally 
affecting the interests of the people of Georgia, and the 
South generally. The question of domestic slavery, which 
has so long been the subject of discussion upon mere specu- 
lative theories, has at length assumed a practical shape. 


upon which the public men of the country are required to 
act promptly and decisively. The termination of the war 
with Mexico has left our country in the possession of a large 
and extensive territory which is soon to be peopled with her 
energetic and enterprising sons, and the question is pre- 
sented, whether the people of the south shall be permitted 
to participate with their brethren of the north in the bene- 
fits and advantages of the new acquisition, purchased by 
their joint blood and treasure. 

A strong and numerous party of the north, including the 
whole of the whig and abolition parties, and an inconsider- 
able portion of the democratic party, has declared their 
solemn and unalterable determination to exclude from this 
territory all of the people of the South, who may desire to 
remove there with their slave property, under the false and 
delusive cry of "free territory." They are seeking to strike 
at our peculiar institutions a deadly blow, and it behooves 
our people, in such a crisis, to guard with a jealous eye, 
against any effort to impose upon their credulity or to take 
advantage of their too generous and confiding nature. The 
equivocal position assigned to Gen. Taylor on this important 
question, by his party friends, commands our serious and 
earnest consideration. His friends at the South point to his 
location in our midst, and the fact of his being a slaveholder, 
and tell us that in his hands our rights will be guarded, and 
our interests protected, and that in the event of his election, 
no bill involving the principles of the "Wilmot Proviso" would 
receive his Executive sanction, whilst his Northern sup- 
porters, with equal earnestness, and upon more explicit as- 
surances, say to their constituents, that "His (General 
Taylor's) declared sentiments are a guaranty that he will 
never in the slightest manner, interfere with the action of 
Congress, when it shall forbid the existence of slavery in 
our newly acquired territory. Let the representatives of the 
people and of the states be left free to act upon that ques- 
tion, uncontrolled by executive influence and executive veto, 
and we are safe." No candid man will deny that the repre- 
sentations of Gen. Taylor's position on this subject at the 


North and the South, are directly in conflict with each other, 
and that an attempt is being made to practice a fraud and 
deception upon the one or the other section of the Union. 
Gen. Taylor owes it to himself as well as to his country and 
her institutions, to put an end to this system of double deal- 
ing, by an open and candid avowal of his true position, and 
should he persist in his refusal to do so, he will shew himself 
utterly unworthy of our esteem and respect, much more of 
our confidence and support. 

The association of the name of Mr. Fillmore on the same 
ticket with Gen. Taylor, is well calculated to increase rather 
than diminish the distrust already created in the public 
mind by his present equivocal position. When we refer to 
the journals of Congress and find the name of Mr. Fillmore, 
with unvarying uniformity associated with the names of 
Messrs. John Q. Adams, Giddings, Slade, etc., on every vote 
involving the question of slavery, it is not to be wondered at 
that we should indulge in the most serious apprehensions 
of the effect likely to be produced by the elevation of these 
men to the highest offices of the Republic. 

The safety of the South consists not in the men who are 
to fill the offices of the President and Vice-President, but it 
is in knowing what these men will do in the event of their 
election. It is therefore not only our policy, but our duty, 
and our right to be informed clearly, distinctly and unequiv- 
ocally of the views and principles of candidates for public 
office, before we rashly bestow our suffrages upon them. 

The democratic party, in presenting to the people the 
names of Gen. Cass and Gen. Butler, as their candidates for 
these high and responsible offices, have the proud distinction 
of knowing, that upon all these great and important ques- 
tions to which I have referred, they have no cause to practice 
concealment or deception. They not only present to the 
country, the names of men distinguished for their eminent 
services, as well in the field as in the cabinet, but at the same 
time, with frankness and candor, they submit to the intelli- 
gent judgment of the country, their principles and opinions, 
and challenge for them the closest scrutiny and investiga- 


tion. If the public mind sanctions and approves these 
principles — if the people are satisfied that their interest, 
happiness and prosperity will be promoted and advanced by 
having this government honestly and faithfully adminis- 
tered upon these well established principles of our demo- 
cratic faith, then, we ask for the nominees of our party, that 
hearty and cordial support, which patriotism and interest 
alike demand and require. This is the fair, open, and manly 
course. Truth needs no concealment. Honesty wears no 

Upon the subject of our peculiar institutions. Gen. Cass 
has placed before the whole country his views. They are 
such as have commanded the approval of the great body of 
our people. To him, more than to any one else, or perhaps 
to all others, are we indebted for the very great change pro- 
duced in the public mind at the North, on the subject of the 
Wilmot Proviso, which at one time threatened to sweep 
everything before it. We should now avail ourselves of the 
present opportunity to manifest, by a warm, cordial, and 
enthusiastic support of his claims to the Presidency, our 
appreciation of his patriotic devotion to our just interests 
and constitutional rights. Let not our Northern friends, 
who are true to us on this question, be stricken down by our 
own suicidal hands. 

The limits of this communication will not permit a dis- 
cussion of the various interesting questions, growing out 
[of] and connected with, the subjects, to which I have inci- 
dentally referred. I trust that the adjournment of Congress 
at no very distant day, will enable me to visit the people of 
our district, at which time I propose to discuss, fully and 
frankly, these important subjects, and all others that may 
be brought into the contest, and until such time, I must 
postpone all further consideration of them. 

I cannot close this letter, gentlemen, without expressing 
to you my thanks for the very flattering manner in which 
you have been pleased to communicate the decision of the 
Convention, and I beg that you will accept the assurance of 
my sincere regard and esteem. 



Washington, D. C, Feb. 8, 1849. 
My dear Wife : 

I had almost come to the conclusion that you had deter- 
mined to close our correspondence and was seriously contem- 
plating the propriety of going to California at the end of the 
present session, raising the free soil banner and trying my 
fortunes on another theatre, but your letter just received 
relieves my fears and encourages me to hope that I may yet 
resuscitate my sinking fortunes in Georgia and at some 
future day receive the mead due to an honest & conscien- 
cious public servant. At least you are not against me and 
with your cooperation we may yet look upon brighter skies. 
As I am now forewarned that you will not be able to write 
during your trip to Sumpter, I shall be able to remain quiet 
under the disappointment, & not subject your silence to mis- 

I was much gratified to learn that your trip was passing 
off so agreeably and when your little crowd are entirely 
relieved of their colds, I have no doubt you will not only 
be pleasantly situated but I promise myself the gratification 
of seeing your health much improved. 

Washington as it always the case is the scene of much 
excitement and the most agitating question of the day is 
still the subject of slavery. I am of opinion that the ques- 
tion will be settled at the present session on the basis of 
[the] Douglas bill,^ and I would entertain no doubt of it, 
but for the violent opposition it has encountered from John 
C. Calhoun. It does not suit his purposes to get clear of it 
upon any reasonable terms. It constitutes his last hope of 
organizing a Southern party of which he shall be head & 
soul. God grant that we may be able to floor the old 
reprobate & thereby preserve the honor of the South, and 
secure the permanency of the Union. If it would please our 
Heavenly Father to take Calhoun & Benton home I should 
look upon it as a national blessing. 

Introduced by Senator S. A. Douglas, Dec. 11, 1848. It contemplated organizing 
the whole of the Mexican cession into one state, to be called California. The bill 
was later amended by Douglas so as to provide for two states, California and New 
Mexico, with nothing said about slavery. 





Washington City, February 26, 1849. 
We address you this circular from a sense of duty to our- 
selves. A portion of the Southern Representatives in 
Congress, have recently issued an Address ^ to the people of 
the South on the exciting question of slavery. We were 
unable to unite v^ith them in the movement, and the absence 
of our names from the paper v^hich they have published, 
has given rise to strictures upon our course which we pro- 
pose now to notice. Our conduct has been misconstrued by 
some and misunderstood by others, and to place the matter 
in its proper light is the object of the present communica- 
tion. A proper appreciation of our motives and feelings, 
requires a partial consideration of the Address as it stood, 
when it first issued from the hands of its author. The mod- 
ifications which were subsequently made, improved its tone, 
temper, and spirit, though they failed to render it wholly 
unobjectionable. Some of the passages stricken out can 
meet with no justification from that portion of its signers 
who belong to the Democratic party, and without stopping 
to comment upon all of them we cannot pass by in silence 
the remarkable attack made upon Mr. Polk and those Dem- 
ocrats who had supported the Oregon bill. The Address in 
this particular was marked with a spirit of opposition to the 
present Executive, which was well calculated to array the 
people of the South against an administration, which has 
with signal fidelity carried into the practical operation of 
the Government, all the cardinal principles of our political 
faith. The insertion of this paragraph in the original ad- 
dress, was not more remarkable than its failure to make 
the slightest discrimination in its charges upon the North, 

Congressman from Kentucky, 1835-1837; 1839-1855; Speaker of the 32ncl and 33rd 


Congressman from Kentucky, 1847-1849. 

Congressman from Georgia, 1843-1849 ; 1855-1857. 

Calhoun's "Southern Address" (See Works, VI. pp. 290-313), in which he plead for 

the organization of a distinctly Southern party to resist aggressions on the slavery 



in favor of those who have ever manifested a determination 
to stand by the constitutional rights of the South, even at 
the price of self-sacrifice. It seemed to us to foreshadow 
a result in the organization of a sectional party, which 
would neither promote the interests or strengthen the se- 
curities of the South. 

The Address was still more objectionable for what it did 
not contain. It professed to give a faithful history of the 
abolition question, with the causes of its increase, and the 
purposes it has sought to accomplish, and was intended to 
place before the people of the South the true condition of 
the feelings and sentiments of the Northern people in regard 
to it. Its object in this respect was to give the Southern 
people such information as would enable them to adopt such 
a policy as would best guard and maintain their rights. The 
purpose was a good one, but it was not an original one. 
The same object has been pursued with equal earnestness 
for many years, by those who are as deeply interested in the 
preservation of our peculiar institutions as Mr. Calhoun, and 
it remains to be seen whether the efforts of the one or the 
other are best calculated to effect the object which both pro- 
fess to have in view. The history of the abolition question 
as presented by Mr. Calhoun is incomplete and unsatisfac- 
tory. There are important matters wholly omitted in his 
Address, which are as necessary to be known to a correct 
understanding of the question, as those which he has pre- 
sented, and without a knowledge and appreciation of which, 
the people of the South will be incapable of forming a proper 
judgment on the subject, or adopting the proper line of pol- 
icy. Abolition is not only a question of religious fanaticism, 
but one of political power. It has entered more or less, for 
many years, into the party politics of the country, and has 
constituted an element in the organization of parties at the 
North, of no inconsiderable importance. It is in this view of 
the subject that the Address is marked with a silence 
which in our judgment admits of no justifictaion. If we 
contemplate the continuance of the Union, as the Address 
professes to do, it is a matter of serious interest to the 
Southern people to know the terms of relationship which 


have heretofore and do now exist between these fanatical 
assailants of our peculiar institutions and the political 
parties of the country, with the one or the other of which 
our people are associated in the bonds of political faith. 
With this information in our possession, we would know 
whom to regard as friends and who as enemies. In the hour 
of danger and trial we are enabled to form our political 
associations in reference to the protection of our dearest 
interest. Why, then, should we fail to tell the people the 
truth upon this subject? Was it because it would bear 
heavily upon the one party and elevate in the estimation of 
Southern men, the character of the other? It will not do to 
say, that it thereby introduced party politics into the Ad- 
dress. Upon a question so important and momentous as the 
Address regards the present state of the slavery agitation, 
it becomes Southern men to forego the ties of party obliga- 
tion, and to respond fearlessly and honestly to the demands 
of truth and justice. It was indeed a strange demand upon 
the liberality of Southern Democrats to ask them to with- 
hold the truth from the people, because its declaration 
would offend the sensibilities of their Southern Whig 
friends. If the Southern Whigs are not yet prepared to 
abide the judgment which the public record pronounces 
upon their Northern associates, we seriously fear that they 
are beyond the point where their minds can be reached by 
any argument, however ably and forcefully addressed to 
them even by the distinguished author of the Southern 

Without attempting an analysis of the Congressional 
Record upon the slavery question, we will submit a few gen- 
eral propositions which will put this matter in its proper 
light. The general proposition may be fearlessly stated, 
and the records of Congress with safety appealed to for the 
evidence of its truth, that upon all questions involving the 
rights of the South, in connection with the institution of 
slavery upon which an issue has been made, our only friends 
at the North have been found in the ranks of the Northern 
Democracy. Without stopping now to discuss the merits of 
these issues, which surely cannot be necessary before a 


Southern constituency, let us recur to some of them in illus- 
tration of the proposition just laid down. Among the most 
prominent of these issues, and one which perhaps excited 
as much if not more of the public attention than any other, 
was the famous 21st. rule of the House of Representatives, 
which peremptorily excluded all petitions on the subject of 
the abolition of slavery either in the States, Territories, or 
District of Columbia. That rule was originally introduced 
into Congress by a Southern Whig, (Mr. Johnson, of Mary- 
land). It was the subject of repeated discussion and nume- 
rous votes, from the time of its original adoption to the 
period of its repeal in the 28th. Congress. During that 
whole time it never received the vote of a single Northern 
Whig. It was adopted and kept in existence by the united 
vote of all the Southern members, (with one or two excep- 
tions,) and a portion of the Northern Democracy. 

On the question of the annexation of Texas, which was 
opposed at the North on account of her slavery institutions, 
a similar state of things will be found to exist. That meas- 
ure was carried by the aid of Northern Democratic votes 
alone, men whose minds were not like their Whig brethren, 
so surcharged with bitter hatred of the South and her in- 
stitutions, as to defeat this favorite object of Southern men, 
on account of the existence there of our peculiar institutions. 

An equally forcible and convincing illustration will be 
found in the history of the present exciting issue which now 
so seriously threatens the peace and harmony of our Union, 
if not its very existence. Various votes have been taken 
both in the Senate and House of Representatives, during the 
last three sessions, on the Wilmot Proviso, and it yet re- 
mains for the first Northern Whig to record his vote against 
it. It has at different times been defeated in both branches 
of Congress, and in every instance by the aid of Northern 
Democratic votes. The action of Congress on this subject, 
in connection with the famous Compromise bill introduced 
into the Senate by Mr. Clayton, of Delaware, presents a 
striking illustration of the correctness of our position. That 
bill was the work of time and deliberation. It sought to 
place the adjustment of this disturbing question upon such 


grounds as would enable the moderate and just men of all 
sections of the country to give it their support, without re- 
quiring the sacrifice of any cardinal principle upon the part 
of anyone. Indeed, some Southern men refused it their 
support because of its inefficiency in properly guarding and 
protecting the rights of the South. Yet inefficient and pow- 
erless as those Southern Whigs who aided in its defeat 
regarded it, it guaranteed more to the South than any of 
their Northern allies was willing to grant. The bill encoun- 
tered the undivided opposition of the Northern Whig party 
with the isolated exception of Mr. Phelps, of Vermont ; and 
he took especial care to put his acquiescence in its passage 
upon the ground, that it was a virtual enforcement of the 
principles of the Wilmot Proviso. These prominent in- 
stances have been selected for the purpose of bringing clear- 
ly and distinctly before the public mind of the South the 
relationship which the two parties at the North have borne 
to this subject. They might be multiplied to the satisfac- 
tion of the most incredulous mind, if additional force could 
thereby be given to the argument. But if these facts, which 
are in harmonious unison with the whole record of Congress 
on this subject, do not carry home conviction to the mind of 
a Southern man, such an one would not believe though one 
should rise from the dead. 

If we may rely with any certainty upon the reports of the 
public press, of the proceedings of the State Legislatures, or 
the representation of individual acquaintances who are sup- 
posed to be familiar with the matter, we may gather con- 
firmatory evidence of the same fact from that quarter. We 
are yet to learn the name, or hear of the existence of the 
first Whig who has ever voted in any of the Legislatures of 
the free States against resolutions in favor of the principles 
of the Wilmot Proviso. The same is true of their public 
press. Indeed, in the ranks of the Northern Whig party, 
there has been and now is an unvarying uniformity of sen- 
timent on this subject, which compels every candid and 
truthful loving man to admit, that the South will look in 
vain in the ranks of that party for a single friend upon 


whose arm she may lean in the hour of her trials and 
troubles. They have for years been courting and caressing 
the abolitionists, and in their public career have manifested 
subservience to abolition dictation, and an affiliation with 
abolition sentiment, which has in no small degree contrib- 
uted to increase the excitement and magnify the import- 
ance of this most wicked and reckless warfare upon South- 
ern rights. These solemn truths have been from time to 
time presented to the consideration of the Southern people ; 
and they have been urged to cut loose from a political asso- 
ciation, which was sowing broadcast through the land the 
seeds of their ruin and destruction. As individuals who had 
participated in presenting these facts to the people, we had 
been actuated by the sincerest desire to save our country 
from the ruinous consequences, which we believe must in- 
evitably follow from an union of the South with Northern 
Whigs. We were candid and honest in the declaration which 
we made to the people from time to time, of the ruinous 
effects of such an alliance. Our opinions have undergone 
no change. We yet believe, that the only true and reliable 
friends of the South at the North are to be found in the 
Democratic party and that the protection of our rights so far 
as the same is dependent upon the legislation of Congress is 
only to be promoted by uniting in still closer bonds with 
those who have given us these evidences of the sincerity of 
their friendship, and the honesty of their purposes, and at 
the same time severing all connection with those whose 
whole course has been characterized with unchanging proofs 
of hostility and opposition. Entertaining these views, we 
should have been false to our past professions — false to our 
present convictions — false to the dictates of policy — false 
to the requirements of justice — false to the impulses of grat- 
itude, if we had given our sanction to a paper purporting to 
give a faithful narrative of the abolition question, and which 
omitted wholly to consider this, the most imposing and im- 
portant feature of the subject. The sacrifices which the 
Northern Democracy have made in their efforts to sustain 
the constitutional rights of the South against the combined 


influence of the Northern Whigs and Abolitionists, have not 
yet entirely passed from our memories. Some of the in- 
stances are within our personal knowledge. We have seen 
them stricken down in the struggle — ^we have heard around 
us the shouts of rejoicing over their defeat from the very 
men in defence of whose rights their last blow in the contest 
was stricken — we have seen their seats in the Halls of Con- 
gress vacated one by one, to be filled with the miserable 
panderers to abolition excitement, who are recognized and 
hailed as good men and true in the great family of national 
Whigs — we have seen the craven hearted Democrat, who, as 
he humbly bowed his neck to receive the abolition yoke, 
spurned with indignation from the embraces of his former 
political associates, only to be the more cordially welcomed 
into the ranks of the Northern Whigs, and by them elevated 
from the House to the Senate of the United States. Until 
these things shall have been obliterated from our memories, 
we can never affix our signatures to any paper professing to 
be a faithful history of the question which does not deign 
to bestow upon them even a passing notice. 

Some may be disposed to reply to these considerations, 
that the number of our reliable friends among the Northern 
Democrats is daily diminishing. They may refer to the fact, 
that on the more recent votes which have been taken in 
Congress on the subject, we have been enabled to obtain the 
cooperation of comparatively a small number, and in this re- 
sult find a justification for a refusal to recognize the obliga- 
tions imposed upon us by their past services. If the grate- 
ful remembrance of past kindness and friendship does not 
suggest a sufficient answer to such objections, we might 
perhaps with more effect reach their judgments with the 
considerations of policy. The Southern Whigs have, by 
their unfortunate alliance with their Northern associates, 
done more to estrange our only friends at the North than all 
other causes combined; and if to their ungrateful and un- 
generous reproaches of the sincerity of Northern Democrats 
we are to render our acquiescence by our silence on such an 
occasion as this, we may reasonably look to the period as not 


far distant, when the South will be called upon to mourn 
over the departure from the Halls of our National Legisla- 
ture of her last Northern friend. 

The Southern Address also purports to give the causes 
of the increase of the abolition excitement at the North; 
but wholly fails to account for the remarkable fact, that 
during the present session of Congress some of the most 
alarming votes have been given which can be found on the 
records of our national legislation; whilst it directs the at- 
tention of the Southern people to the fact, that the move- 
ments of the agitators at the present session have been 
directed, with peculiar interest to the subject of slavery in 
the District of Columbia, it attempts no explanation of the 
causes which have led to this remarkable and threatening 
demonstration. The narrative, to be complete and truthful, 
should not have omitted so important a consideration, if 
there existed any reasons that could with propriety have 
been assigned. It may be, that the author was again appre- 
hensive of wounding the feelings of sensitive Southern 
Whigs; but we cannot see in this any sufficient palliation 
for this omission. We all must know and feel that the unfor- 
tunate vote cast at the late presidential election by a major- 
ity of the Southern people, for Millard Fillmore for the Vice 
Presidency, has had no inconsiderable agency in producing 
this state of things. Fillmore stood pledged before the 
country in favor of "immediate legislation by Congress for 
the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia." By 
his silence he refused any modification of this or other 
equally odious opinions, which he had promulged more than 
ten years ago, in the efforts (so common with his party) of 
drawing into his support the abolition influence of his dis- 
trict. With these most infamous abolition sentiments 
hanging upon his lips, he was triumphantly elevated, by the 
votes of the South, to the second office in the Republic. This 
vote, thus cast by the South in an evil hour, has been con- 
strued by these Northern fanatics into a willingness on her 
part to submit to the practical operation of the principles 
so boldly avowed by her favorite candidate ; and they have 


been emboldened by this result to renew with redoubled 
zeal the warfare upon our rights generally ; and particularly 
have their efforts been directed to the District of Columbia, 
on ccount of the well known views of Millard Fillmore on 
that point. Southern members have been taunted on the 
floor of Congress with this criticism upon the recent elect- 
ion ; and however well satisfied we may be of the fact, that 
our people never intended by their votes to endorse the 
odious sentiments of the man for whom they voted, yet it is 
no easy matter to give a satisfactory solution of this most 
unfortunate vote, without compromising, to some extent, 
the intelligence of those who were induced to give it. Be 
this as it may, we can entertain no doubt of the general 
proposition, that a new impetus has been given to the abol- 
ition excitement, and a new energy imparted to its advocates 
by the consideration to which we have just alluded. To come 
to a different conclusion, we should be compelled to close our 
eyes to the scenes which have for the last two months been 
transpiring around us. With this conviction resting on our 
minds, we should have forfeited our own self-respect, and 
the confidence of our friends, to have sent forth to the 
people, as a faithful account of this question, a paper which, 
upon this important view of it, was silent as the grave. 

The inquiry now presents itself, are these facts well au- 
thenticated, and is the argument which v/e have drawn from 
them proper and legitimate ? If so, it remains to be consid- 
ered, why they were excluded from the Address ? Upon the 
first point it is hardly necessary to enlarge before a Dem- 
ocratic constituency. Upon repeated occasions we have 
presented them to the consideration of the Southern people, 
and whilst the Democratic portion of our hearers have, by 
unmistakable evidences, manifested their concurrence and 
approbation, we have not yet met with the first Whig who 
has been able, truthfully, to deny the facts, or successfully 
to controvert the argument. To the files of the same Dem- 
ocratic press that is now sounding the premonitory notes of 
a condemnation of our course, we could, with safety, appeal 


for the evidence of the correctness of our positions, if we 
believed that the occasion required it. 

To the second inquiry which we have presented, we have 
yet to hear any satisfactory reason that can be given, for 
denying, to the facts which we have detailed their legitimate 
place in an Address which purported to give a faithful his- 
tory of the abolition question. The fear of giving offense to 
Southern Whigs, and thereby losing their aid and coopera- 
tion, will hardly afford a justification in the minds of those 
who accord their assent to the correctness of our statements, 
and whose judgments sanction the soundness of our argu- 
ment. Under circumstances the most flattering of success, 
such a policy would tax the strongest intellects for reasons 
to palliate and justify it, but in the present instance, the 
object was an idle and visionary one, as the result very 
clearly demonstrated. The Whigs had just succeeded in 
elevating to the highest offices in the Government, men, in 
whose integrity of purpose, and fidelity to the Constitution, 
they had expressed their unbounded confidence, and it was 
an unreasonable anticipation to suppose that they would 
participate in any movement, which rested for its propriety 
and necessity, mainly upon the apprehension that the rights 
of the South were unsafe in the hands of those whom they 
had selected as faithful guardians of the constitutional 
rights of every portion of the Union. This error on the 
part of the Southern Whigs was not more deep and fatal 
than was the hope of their sudden conversion, wild and 
visionary. As might have been reasonably expected, they 
refused, en masse, with two exceptions, to give their sanc- 
tion to the movement and gave early indications to the 
meeting, of their intention to withhold their signatures from 
the Address. With this determination, on their part, ended 
the prospect of making this a Southern movement, irrespec- 
tive of party considerations. At this period we considered 
that the time had arrived when the friends of the Address 
must determine between two policies, the one looking to th6^ 
preservation of the Democratic party of the Union, and the 
other contemplating the organization of a sectional party, 


which being composed, almost exclusively, of Democrats, 
would supplant entirely, the present Democratic party of 
the South, and utterly destroy our national organization. 
To our minds, it left the friends of the Address without any 
reasonable pretext for excluding from it the matter, which 
it seemed to us, was indispensable to a just, full, and fair 
consideration of the subject. Those who agreed with us, 
urged upon the peculiar friends of the Address, the propri- 
ety and necessity of giving it this direction, but we found 
that the proposition met with so little favor, that if submit- 
ted to the meeting it would not only be attended with defeat, 
but would subject its friends to the imputation of wantonly 
urging a disturbing element upon their proceedings, thus 
leaving us no other alternative than, either to withhold our 
signatures, or to abandon the course which we felt was clear- 
ly indicated by a sense of truth and justice. There was no 
difficulty in moulding this Address into any shape, consist- 
ent with truth, which would give to the movement additional 
strength in the South, and every facility was afforded of 
relieving the scruples and quieting the apprehensions of 
Southern men, whose alliance was sought to be obtained, 
but when a suggestion is made which looks beyond the limits 
of our own immediate section, and seeks to do an act of 
sheer justice to Northern Democrats, who have stood firmly 
by our sides in the darkest hour of our trial, and which 
regards with favor, the continued preservation of the Dem- 
ocratic party of the Union — it is regarded as narrow and 
contracted and indignantly spurned, as unworthy of serious 
consideration. No one appreciated more fully than our- 
selves the necessity for unanimity in our action to effect 
any decisive good, and though we may be held responsible 
in part for the failure to obtain that result, we do not feel 
that upon our shoulders should that responsibility be 
placed, nor upon those who sympathised with us in the 
views we entertained. Some of the peculiar friends of the 
Address manifested an opposition to any material amend- 
ment of it, as determined and uncompromising as was our 
support of our own firm and decided convictions. They were 
fixed and resolute in their purpose, to have the Address sub- 


stantially as it was finally presented to the public, or not to 
have it at all. Some of them declaring that they could not 
so far yield their wishes as to acquiesce in Mr. Berrien's sub- 
stitute, though it should be adopted by a majority of the 
meeting. The only construction which our minds could 
place upon this course of conduct, led us to the conclusion 
that the principal effect which was to result from the move- 
ment, would be the organization of a Southern sectional 
party. In such a party orgnization we could see no addi- 
tional security to Southern rights. It possessed no claims 
to lure us from the old association which we had formed in 
the days of our earliest political recollection with the Dem- 
ocratic party of the Union. We preferred yet to rely upon 
the combined influence of the Southern and Northern 
Democrats for the protection of the rights of the South, so 
long as the same were dependent upon the legislation of our 
national Government. We could not see how our strength 
was to be increased by diminishing our numbers. If South- 
ern Democrats alone could, by party organization, throw 
ample barriers around the peculiar interests of the South, 
we were at a loss to understand how the aid and coopera- 
tion of our Northern friends would embarrass our move- 
ments or weaken our defences. So long as we contemplate 
the continuance of the Union, so long will we look to the 
preservation of the integrity of the Democratic party of 
the Union, as an element of our greatest strength and se- 
curity. When the time shall come, if ever, which God, in 
his mercy avert, when the rights and interests of the South, 
under the Constitution, are spurned and disregarded, and 
we shall cease to be considered as equals with our Northern 
brethren, we shall look to other and higher measures to re- 
dress than those which promise to flow from the organi- 
zation of a Southern sectional party. 

We have now frankly and honestly stated the reasons 
which impelled us to the course which we have felt [to] be 
our duty to pursue, and they are submitted to those who 
have a right to pass upon them for their calm and deliberate 
consideration. Our object has been to defend ourselves, 


and not to assail others ; and it is due to many of those who 
have sanctioned and signed the Address, that we should dis- 
claim any intention to attribute to them the motive of pro- 
ducing the result which we believe would inevitably follow 
the success of the movement. Their judgment has placed 
a different construction upon the whole matter from ours, 
and in this honest difference of opinion is to be found the 
reasons which have induced the difference in our action on 
the subject. Time must determine between us, and to the 
award which future developments shall render we will cheer- 
fully submit. 

Up to the present late period of the session we have 
indulged the hope that this truly vexed and harrassing 
question would be settled, upon terms just and honorable 
to all portions of the Union. In the proposition which sought 
to settle it by the admission of our new Territories into the 
Union as States, we recognized a basis of adjustment which 
rested upon a principle so just and sacred, as we hoped 
would disarm all opposition, and commend itself to the favor 
of the most fastidious and violent on the one or the other 
side of the question. It looked to the will of the people, 
upon whom the laws were to operate, as the best indication 
of what those laws should be. In the organization of their 
State governments, our fellow-citizens of California and New 
Mexico, would exercise that great American privilege of 
determining for themselves the nature and character of 
their local institutions; and whatever that decision might 
be, surely no one who draws upon the spirit of our revolu- 
tionary struggles for the chart of their political faith, would 
complain of a result which flowed naturally from the exer- 
cise of the great and glorious principles of self-government. 
Whether this hope is destined to a realization or disappoint- 
ment remains yet to be seen, though its prospect becomes 
more and more unpromising, as each successive day brings 
us nearer to the close of a session, whose sands are nearly 
run out. If the measure should be passed, it will be like oil 
poured upon the troubled waters, peace and harmony and 
good feeling will again be restored to our country. If it is 


lost, the responsibility of its defeat, with its consequences, 
must rest upon those who produce the result. In any event, 
such is our confidence in the honesty and intelligence of the 
American people, that we entertain the strongest hopes that 
its final adjustment will be marked with a spirit of liberality 
and justice, worthy of the age in which we live, and the 
institutions under which we have been reared. The sincere 
attachment felt by the people of all sections to this Union of 
our fathers, cemented as it was by their blood, and conse- 
crated by their wisdom, forbid the idea that its existence 
and perpetuity will be wantonly endangered by an act of 
gross and palpable injustice upon any portion of the con- 
federacy. This Union is the rock upon which the God of 
nations has built his political church, and we have been 
summoned to minister at its holy altars, let us not prove un- 
worthy of the high mission to which we have been called. 



Reconstruction in Georgia: Economic, Social, Political, 
1865-1872. By C. Mildred Thompson, Ph.D. [Columbia 
University Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, 
Vol. LXIV, No. 1.] (New York: Columbia University Press, 
1915, pp. 418.) 

No serious reader of this valuable monograph can fail to 
wonder that either the author or the university which spon- 
sored the publication, could have been willing to give it to 
the public without an index. Because of its comprehensive 
scope and careful treatment, its excellent biblography, and 
its innumerable citations of the abundant source material 
which the author has so skilfully used, the work will have 
permanent reference value for future investigators and 
students. This makes it the more regrettable that its value 
for reference purposes should not have been made infinitely 
greater by provision of an adequate index. 

Somewhat less attention is given by Miss Thompson to the 
Federal side of reconstruction, and to the legal and constitu- 
tional aspects of the reconstruction acts, than was given in 
the earlier monograph of Edwin C. Woolley, "The Recon- 
struction of Georgia" (Columbia University, 1901). But the 
present treatise is so much broader in scope and so much 
more adequate in treatment of the topic, drawing from a 
vastly richer field of sources and displaying more skill and 
more maturity of judgment in use of the material, that in 
all essentials it supersedes the earlier publication. 

Part I, after an excellent miniature sketch of ''Georgia 
in the War" and an admirable account of the 'Transition 
from Slavery to Freedom," relates the economic difficulties 
of the first two years after the war, under the wage system, 
the share system, and tenancy ; the beginnings of revival in 
commerce and of social readjustment ; and the early political 
reorganization under President Johnson's terms. 'Tn 1865 
and 1866 the people of Georgia lent themselves in good faith 
to the demands made upon them by the President's scheme 


of restoration. Measures were accepted as necessary to res- 
toration, quietly and submissively, and naturally without 
enthusiasm." Unfortunately the policies advocated by the 
conservative New York Times had few sympathizers in the 
North. "Because a Southerner, who had given his whole- 
souled allegiance for four years to the Confederacy, did not 
immediately shout — Hurrah for the Stars and Stripes — and 
because the master of slaves, the instant emancipation be- 
came fact, did not look upon the freedman as a friend and 
a brother," Carl Schurz and other idealists "saw omens of 
recurring rebellion and reenslavement." 

It was natural but most unfortunate, that the North 
should misconstrue the motives which caused the election 
of Alexander H. Stephens and H. V. Johnson to the United 
States Senate. These men, and others, who "were fitting 
representatives of Georgia in 1866," were not permitted a 
voice in the reconstruction of the state. General Pope ex- 
pressed what seems to have been the prevailing Northern 
attitude in his words to General Grant, "It is surely better 
to have an incompetent but loyal man in office, than to have 
a rebel of whatever ability. In fact, the greater the ability, 
the greater the danger of maladministration." We may 
regret that the scope of the work could not have been suf- 
ficiently extended to treat more fully of the framing of 
reconstruction policies in Washington, of the motives by 
which they were inspired, and the influences which impeded 
the progress of what might have been a much quicker, 
easier, and more amicable reconstruction. "The basis on 
which Congress acted in enforcing new reconstruction upon 
the Southern states in 1867 was that they were still in a 
condition of war;" although "as far as Georgia is con- 
cerned, at the end of 1866, there was no condition of war, 
either flagrant or otherwise." At the close of 1865 the 
people "were ready to make the best of things, and a year 
later they were hopeful of making things better." But from 
Northern distrust, vindictive resentment, political scheming, 
and the Congressional squabble with President Johnson, 
matters became worse instead of better. 


Part II tells the unhappy story of the continuance of mili- 
tary rule, the ''restoration" of 1868, the scandals of the 
administration of Governor Bullock, and the final steps to- 
ward the full readmission of the state, accomplished in Feb- 
ruary, 1871. In Part III are given a general survey of 
agricultural and economic development, a brief sketch of 
"Schools, Churches and Courts," and an interesting chapter 
on '*Ku Klux and Social Disorder." On the whole Georgia 
fared well, we are told, as compared with the neighboring 
states, the process of her reconstruction showing "a marked 
moderation in her government, a lesser degree of reconstruc- 
tion evils, less wanton corruption and extravagance in public 
office, less social disorder and upheaval." 'The Conserva- 
tives of Georgia made their mistake in being strong enough 
to gain control too soon to suit the Radicals in Congress, 
who still were the real keepers of Georgia. . . The trouble was 
that the Conservatives considered solely what was best for 
the white people of Georgia, instead of viewing reconstruc- 
tion as a national political problem and consulting the 
pleasure of the Republican leaders in Congress and the effect 
of Georgia proceedings on public opinion in the North." 

C. S. T. 

Studies in Southern History and Politics. Inscribed to 
William Archibald Dunning — By His Former Pupils, The 
Authors. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1914. pp. 
VIII, 394). 

This volume contains fifteen essays, by as many authors, 
treating various phases of Southern activity and thought and 
problems : the growth of the spirit of secession ; some legal 
and constitutional problems of the Confederacy; and the 
reconstruction period, closing with several studies of the 
new South, economic, educational, and political. Naturally, 
the essays are not all of equal value. It is also obvious that 
none of the topics are treated exhaustively, for completeness 
was precluded by the limitations of space. The chief value 
of the work as a whole is in making available, in reasonably 
popular form, a series of careful interpretive studies of 


Southern history and doctrine. The arrangement is such 
that the collection has as much unity as it was possible to 
give to a compilation of divided authorship, embracing some 
topics which are non-duplicative in theme and others which 
overlap. Further unity was given the work by the inclusion 
of an adequate index. Although there are no bibliographies, 
the footnote references are in general sufficient to facilitate 
further development of any of the topics. 

Space does not permit extended notice of the different 
essays. The volume opens with a review by Walter L. 
Fleming ("Deportation and Colonization: An Attempted 
Solution of the Race Problem") of the numerous private and 
governmental efforts to colonize the American free negroes 
in tropical countries, from 1770 to the death of Lincoln, who 
never lost faith in deportation as **the only permanent solu- 
tion of the problem." Ulrich B. Phillips contributes an 
interesting chapter on 'The Literary Movement For Seces- 
sion," drawn mainly from diaries, pamphlets, and other 
contemporary writings, showing "that the right and 
expediency of state secession and all kindred questions were 
wholly ancillary to the problem whether and how the South 
should strike for national independence." The growth of the 
secession spirit in Texas, on the frontier, is related in "The 
Frontier and Secession" (Charles W. Ramsdell) . 

Several of the essays are on topics which have received 
little attention, unless incidentally, in historical works of a 
general nature, and have not been made the subject. of ex- 
haustive monographs. Among these by-way excursions are 
"The French Consuls in the Confederate States" (Milledge 
L. Bonham, Jr.) ; "The Judicial Interpretation of the Con- 
federate Constitution" (Sidney D. Brummer) ; "Carpet- 
Baggers in the United States Senate" (C. Mildred Thomp- 
son) ; and "Grant's Southern Policy" (Edwin C. Woolley.) 
Essays which throw new light on often-discussed topics are 
"Southern Legislation in Respect to Freedmen, 1865-1866" 
(J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton) ; "Negro Suffrage in the South" 
(W. Roy Smith) ; and an especially valuable study of "The 
Federal Enforcement Acts" (William W. Davis.) Holland 


Thomson writes of 'The New South, Economic and Social,'* 
and William K. Boyd of "Some Phases of Educational His- 
tory in the South Since 1865." The Political Philosophy of 
John C. Calhoun (Charles E. Merriam) serves to elucidate 
clearly the doctrines of Calhoun in his later period, but, 
unless by way of emphasis, adds little to common knowl- 
edge of his theories of the ''concurrent majority," the in- 
divisibility of sovereignty, and other principles under- 
lying nullification. A brief sketch of "Southern Political 
Theories" (David Y. Thomas) might be expected to sup- 
plement the study of Calhoun which precedes it, but it is 
devoted largely to early Southern views on democracy and 
its applications, and then considers briefly the laissez faire 
doctrine of the functions of the state toward questions 
affecting public interest. "Southern Politics Since the 
Civil War" (James W. Garner) shows apparent evidence 
of haste in composition. The style is often careless, repeti- 
tions are frequent, and there is a general lack of unity. The 
essay's chief contribution is its advocacy of more general 
attention to "such questions as education, the conservation 
of the natural resources of the South, or the more efficient 
protection of life and property," and its discussion of the 
disadvantages of the one-party system. On this topic the 
argument in general is convincing, though the logic at some 
points is weak. It is surprising to read the suggestion, made 
apparently in all seriousness, that "the number of votes 
cast in some of the Southern states is so small as to make it 
v^orth considering whether these states might not be re- 
lieved of the expense of holding elections the results of 
which mean nothing, and the Democratic candidate counted 
as elected as soon as he has been nominated." This would 
certainly not foster the greater independence of thought 
which the author is urging. C. S. T. 

Negro Migration: Changes in Rural Organization and 
Population of the Cotton Belt, By Thomas Jackson Woofter, 
Jr. (New York: W. D. Gray, 1920. pp. 195). 

Embodying the results of first-hand investigation and 
much careful study of statistics, this is an important con- 


tribution to the literature of economic conditions in the 
South as well as to the subject of negro migration. (Con- 
trary to usual custom, the logic of which is hard to explain, 
the word negro is capitalized throughout the book). The 
author has determined "that the shift of predominating 
importance from 1865 to 1916 was from one rural district to 
another, that the chief cause of this shift was discontent 
with land tenure, and that after 1916 this discontent was 
only aggravated by the war conditions and the boll weevil. 
From this it was evident that a thorough understanding of 
the movement is dependent upon a clear idea of the impor- 
tance of the complex social and economic conditions which 
are associated with the different systems of farming or land 

For this reason, half of the book is devoted to a close 
scrutiny of the rural organization of the South, considering 
"The Ruin of the Old Regime" in planting, the development 
of new agricultural opportunities for the negro, and his 
ability or inability to take advantage of them. (If current 
reports of recent date are correct, some qualification seems 
to be needed of the statement "No matter what other forms 
of race discrimination exist in the South, there is no bar to 
the negro in the direction of buying land, as is the case with 
the Japanese in California.") The problems and the relative 
advantages and disadvantages of tenancy and of ownership 
are well set forth, but in the discussion of the early crop 
lien system there is no mention, as there might well have 
been, of the better system of agricultural credits which has 
been worked out in the last few years. Negro ownership 
of land is increasing, although the obstacles opposed to the 
purchase of land "in a region of static agricultural condi- 
tions" are one important cause of migration, as many ne- 
groes "have moved into the sections where the agricultural 
opportunities are better, and many of them have become 
detached from the soil and have gone to the city." 

Part II considers "The Population Movements." Less at- 
tention is given to the recent abnormal migration to the 


North than to the steady process of movements from rural 
to urban districts, and from city to city within the South, 
although there is a useful brief summary of the Northern 
migration, arranged by classes of labor. Migration from 
one rural section to another is mainly due to agricultural 
conditions, but social causes, and the increasing ''group con- 
sciousness" of the negro, play a larger part in causing inter- 
city and inter-state migrations. Had the scope of the work 
permitted, more space might well have been given to these 
social influences, and also to the conditions surrounding 
negroes in industrial labor. The chapter on "The Results 
of Migration" is excellent, and although here, too, we might 
wish for a more extended treatment, it summarizes well the 
main facts and problems, and offers interesting material 
for further development. 

It may be ungrateful, in reviewing so useful and excel- 
lent a work, to refer to the not infrequent errors in proof- 
reading and to occasional carelessness in sentence structure. 
One wonders, too, at the use of the abbreviation ''opp. cite.", 
the meaning of which is not clear, instead of "op. cit." But 
small defects aside, the author has accomplished well his 
purpose of reviewing "the important problems of negro 
life," and of placing in a clear light "the vexing questions 
of land tenure and rural organization in the South," on 
which depend ail complications arising from negro mi- 
gration. C. S. T. 

Alexander H. Stephens. By Louis Pendleton. [American 
Crisis Biographies, edited by Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.] 
(Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Company, c. 1907. pp. 

In the biography of an eminent public character one 
expects to find much of the historical element, supplement- 
ing the biographical, and it is on the correct mingling of the 
two elements that much of the interest and value of this 
class of literature depends. The most obvious criticism 
that can be made of Mr. Pendleton's biography of Alexander 


H. Stephnes is that the author, to a considerable extent, 
has reversed the usual process; instead of letting the his- 
tory of the period serve as a background for the biography, 
he causes Mr. Stephens to serve as an excellent setting for 
a discussion of the history of nullification and secession. 
This criticism, however, merely reflects the reader's dis- 
appointment at not being told somewhat more of Mr. 
Stephens himself. It should be qualified by saying that 
notwithstanding the scarcity of personal details, the author 
has succeeded in giving a notably clear view of the pictur- 
esque and pathetic character and career of his subject. 

The historical chapters, especially "The Secession Agi- 
tation of 1850-1," ''Nullification at the North." ''Georgia 
Secedes," and "Seventy Years of Disunion," are very well 
done, and even though they add little to previous knowledge 
of the issues involved, they rank with the best attempts 
which have been made to tell impartially and accurately 
the full story of disunion agitation. Most of the informa- 
tion is derived from the official records and from well-known 
secondary sources, and, so far as Stephens is concerned, from 
the biography by Johnson and Brown, Cleveland's "Life, 
Letters, and Speeches," Waddell's "Life of Linton 
Stephens," and from Stephen's own writings, especially 
the "Constitutional View" and the "Prison Diary." It is 
the only biography of Stephens now in print, and the only 
non-contemporary account of his life which we have. It is 
interestingly written, and should have wide use. 

C. S. T. 


The United States: An Experiment in Democracy. By 
Carl Becker. (New York: Harper & Brothers, c. 1920. pp. 

"The average American never doubts that the remedy 
for democracy is more democracy. The whole history of 
the United States has been a process of trying to get more 
democracy." Professor Becker's book is a highly interest- 
ing and stimulating attempt to analyze the nature and the 


applications of this democracy. He traces first its develop- 
ment through colonial days and the revolution, through 
the framing and subsequent interpretation of the Consti- 
tution, and through the course of our early foreign relations. 
He then follows it through the later period of industrial 
development and economic change, examining it with rela- 
tion to slavery, to the public lands, to immigration, and to 
education. The book is important as a popular presenta- 
tion of crucial periods in our history, in their relation to the 
fundamental principles on which the government was 
founded ; and as a keen critical analysis of our institutions, 
which must in coming years evolve a new economic democ- 
racy to supplement the old political democracy. 

C. S. T. 

History of the University of Virginia, 1819-1919. (The 
Lengthened Shadow of One Man.) By Philip Alexander 
Bruce, LL.B., LL.D. (New York : The Macmillan Company, 
c. 1920. Vol. 1, pp. XIV, 376; Vol. 2, pp. 395.) 

These are the first two volumes of a Centennial history of 
the University of Virginia, the full story of which is to be 
told "as a succession of periods — each period growing out of 
the preceding one, but dissimilar in length, in problems, and 
in achievements." The two volumes at hand will be of 
interest not only to graduates of the university, but to all 
students of education in America in the early part of the 
last century. 

An introductory chapter is devoted to Thomas Jefferson's 
political principles' religious views, love of science, and 
taste for architecture. The first of the nine periods into 
which the entire work is to be divided tells of Jefferson's 
life-long faith in education and of his many efforts to arouse 
interest in the project of a state university for Virginia. 
The second period is that of ''Germination," telling the story 
of the beginnings of the academy and of the college. 'The 
Building of the University" is the third period. Of more 
general interest is the fourth period, the "Formative and 


Experimental Stage, 1825-1842." which is valuable for the 
light it throws on the social history of the period as well 
as for its account of the development of the university. 

C. S. T. 

A Tout Through Indiana in 18 UO: The Diary of John 
Parsons of Petersburg, Virginia. Edited by Kate Milner 
Rabb. (New York: Robert M.McBride& Co. 1920. pp 391). 

The reader of this diary, kept by a young man of twenty- 
three, just graduated from college, must agree with the 
editor that, had the author lived, "his education, his native 
brilliancy, his charming personality, would certainly have 
insured him success and position." The work is marked 
by a spontaneity which few diaries achieve, and one wonders 
to what extent the young traveler wrote for his own amuse- 
ment, or whether he realized that he was leaving for pos- 
terity a valuable document. For aside from the charm of 
the narrative, the work has considerable historical value. 

The year of the author's journey was the year of the 
"Tippecanoe and Tyler too" campaign, and there are many 
interesting sidelights on the partisanship of the time. But 
the chief value of the diary is in its pictures of the social 
life and customs of middle-western cities of the forties, and 
of conditions of literary culture. The writer was keenly 
interested in education and in literature, as well as in human 
nature, and was fortunate in having letters of introduction 
to circles in which he could see a different phase of mid- 
century American life from that which has been described 
by so many other travelers. C. S. T. 

The United States in Our Own Times, 1865-1920, By Paul 
L. Haworth, Ph.D. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 
c. 1920. pp. VIII, 563). 

This is a well- written and impartial attempt to cover the 
entire history of the United States since the Civil War. 
Chief emphasis is laid on political history, for, says the 
author in the Preface, "after all, the business of govern- 


ment is still of prime importance to the welfare of the 
nation, and it is essential that our citizens should understand 
our past political history." In his (successful) attempt to 
create an interesting narrative the author has over-stressed 
many facts of minor importance, and for more thoughtful 
and stimulating discussion of underlying tendences, espe- 
cially in economic and social development, the student must 
look elsewhere. But in the sense of a comprehensive review 
of the outstanding facts in our political history, with brief 
discussion here and there of economic or industrial condi- 
tions, the book is probably the best which has yet appeared. 
The book "is designed to meet the needs of students who 
desire to know our country in our own times." Not only 
for the general reader, but for high school students and 
college undergraduates, it will be extremely useful for pre- 
liminary reading and study, especially if followed by the 
"Suggestions for Further Reading" prepared for each 
chapter. C. S. T. 



The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography pub- 
lishes in the January number as a supplement the first in- 
stallment of the list of source material from Virginia 
Counties Collected for the Virginia War Archives by the 
Virginia War History Commission. The Commission believes 
that this is the first list to be published of war history con- 
tributed by the counties of any state. The plan of the 
Commission is to publish in succeeding issues of the maga- 
zine lists of records collected by the cities of Virginia, a 
register of the military histories of Virginia organizations 
and of the more important diaries and narratives of Vir- 
ginians in active service and additional reports from cities 
and counties of the state. The organization for the collec- 
tion of this material is well worked out and the record of 
Virginia in the great war ought to be effectively preserved. 
In addition to this material the January number of the Vir- 
ginia Magazine contains Documents Relating to Early Pro- 
jected Swiss Colonies in the Valley of Virginia, 1706-1709, 
from the British Public Record Office and continuation of 
series begun in previous numbers. 

In the January number of the Southwestern Historical 
Quarterly Mattie Austin Hatcher in the Louisiana Back- 
ground of the Colonization of Texas, 1763-1803, discusses 
the settlement of Louisiana under the Spanish regime ; A. K. 
Christen describes the success of the administration of 
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar in securing the recognition of 
Texas by European powers and the establishment of com- 
mercial relations by treaties and the failure of his admin- 
istration to conciliate Mexico ; and in a Ray of Light on the 
Gadsden Treaty, J. Fred Rippy contributes two statements 
by Santa Anna in regard to his negotiations with Gadsden. 

The South Atlantic Quarterly for April contains a 
paper by Julius W. Pratt on Clemenceau and Gambetta — a 
Study in Political Philosophy, and one by David Thomas on 
Commerce, Concessions and War. C. Chilton Pearson con- 


tributes a second paper on William Henry Ruffner; Recon- 
struction Statesman of Virginia, and Francis B. Simpkins 
continues Race Legislation in South Carolina since 1865. 

The contents of the March number of the Maryland His- 
torical Magazine are largely genealogical and biographical. 
Gerald Fourke of St. Louis writes of Colonel Gerard Fourke 
of Virginia and Maryland from 1861 and his descendants in 
America; McHenry Howard in Some Early Colonial Mary- 
landers of Captain Luke Gardiner and the coming of the 
Gardiners', and John Bailey Calvert Nicklin of the Calvert 
familiy. Extracts from the Dulaney papers are given and 
extracts from the Carroll papers continued. 

The April number of the South Carolina Historical and 
Genealogical Magazine is made up of source material. It 
contains Letters concerning Peter Manigault, 1773, and a 
letter from Joseph Lord that was not available when the 
March issue of the magazine was printed. The Register of 
Christ Church Parish, Extracts from the Journal of Mrs. 
Ann Manigault, Cemetery Inscriptions from Christ Church 
Parish, and Marriage and Death Notices from the City 
Gazette are continued. 



The annual meeting of the Georgia Historical Society was 
arranged by the following members of the Society and the 
History Club of Macon : Dr. R. P. Brooks, Judge Alexander 
C. King, Judge Beverly D. Evans, Mr. Lawton B. Evans and 
Dr. P. S. Flippin were appointed the committee on the pro- 
gram, and Mr. Orville A. Park, Mr. P. F. Brock, Professor 
J. W. W. Daniel and Mrs. Bruce Carr Jones (President of 
the History Club of Macon) were appointed the committee 
on local arrangements. 

The following committees of the History Club of Macon 
cooperated with the above committees: The committee on 
the program included Mrs. Edwin S. Davis, Mrs. Thomas N. 
Baker and Mrs. Andrew W. Lane. The committee on enter- 
tainment was composed of Mrs. R. J. Taylor, Mrs. J. R. 
Harwell, Mrs. Rufus W. Weaver, Mrs. D. R. Malone and 
Mrs. Louis E. Pellew. 

The Department of Historical Research in the Carnegie 
Institution of Washington is collecting the material for an 
edition, in several volumes, of the Correspondence of 
Andrew Jackson, to be edited by Professor John S. Bassett 
of Smith College, Jackson's biographer. All persons who 
possess letters of General Jackson or important letters to 
him, or who know where there are collections of his corre- 
spondence, or even single letters, would confer a favor by 
writing to Dr. J. F. Jameson, director of the department 
named, 1140 Woodward Building, Washington, D. C. 

It is to be hoped that the notices of the membership dues 
recently mailed to the members of the Society will be suf- 
ficient to remind them. For the purpose of calling attention 
again to this matter this brief mention is made. 

The Institute of International Education, located in New 
York City, is seeking to increase interest in international 
affairs by the organization of clubs in colleges and univer- 


sities for the study of international relations. In addition 
to furnishing literature the Institute sends lecturers to per- 
sonally present the matter to students. Recently Dr. Everett 
Kimball, professor of Government in Smith College, visited 
a few of the colleges and universities of Georgia and deliv- 
ered a lecture entitled, "Revolution, Reaction and Recon- 
struction." In this lecture was presented an interesting 
account of the general conditions following the World War 
in Russia, Germany and England, and the probable effect 
of these conditions upon the governmental policies of those 

The annual meeting of the Southern Society for Philoso- 
phy and Psychology was held with Mercer University and 
Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga., on March 25 and 26. The 
officers of the Association are: John M. Fletcher, New Or- 
leans, La., President; T. R. Garth, Austin, Texas, Vice- 
President; S. C. Garrison, Nashville, Tenn., Secretary and 
Treasurer. The Council is composed of the following: 
Knight Dunlap, R. W. Weaver, Miss Buford Johnson, H. C. 
Sanborn, H. W. Chase, J. C. Barnes. The program included 
the Presidential Address ; Geneticism as a Heuristic Principle 
in Psychology, John M. Fletcher, Tulane University; The 
Significance of Immediate Experience in Modern Philoso- 
phy, W. D. Furry, Shorter College ; A Personalistic View of 
Art, H. C. Sanborn, Vanderbilt University; The Psycholog- 
ical Basis of Democracy, M. T. McClure, Tulane University ; 
Psychological Factors in Spiritualism, Knight Dunlap, Johns 
Hopkins University ; A Study of Judgments of Personality, 
J. F. Dashiell, University of North Carolina; Some By- 
products of the Intelligence Tests, Peyton Jacob, Mercer 
University ; Report of Value of Intelligence Tests for Fresh- 
men, J. C. Barnes, Maryville College; Description of Appa- 
ratus, John M. Fletcher, Tulane University; Some Results 
of An Investigation of the Problems of Study, A.S.Edwards, 
University of Georgia ; Best Scoring Methods for the Pressy 
Cross-Out Tests, Schedule E, With Tables, Joseph Peterson, 
George Peabody College for Teachers; Relation of School 
Activities to Measurements of Intelligence, Miss Buford 


Johnson, Johns Hopkins University; Methods of Scoring- 
Tests, B. F. Haught, State Normal School, Natchitoches, 
La. ; The Relation Between School Achievements and Intel- 
ligence Quotient and Mental Age, S. C. Garrison, George 
Peabody College for Teachers. An interesting feature of 
the Saturday morning session, not on the program, was an 
address by Mrs. Marietta Johnson, of Fairhope, Alabama, 
in which she gave an exposition of the educational philoso- 
phy underlying the experimental school she maintains at 
Fairhope. While Mrs. Johnson's ideas did not meet with full 
acceptance from the orthodox educators, her address called 
forth much interest and many questions. There were about 
fifty present. All expressed themselves as pleased with the 
entertainment afforded by Macon and her two colleges. 






VOL. V— No. 4 







VOL. V— No. 4 


One Dollar a Number. Three Dollars a Year 

Entered as second class matter, March 14, 1921, 

at the post office at Macon, Georgia, under the 

act of August 24, 1912. 





First Vice-President 


V ice - Pres ident 



Corresponding Secretary 






Chairmg,n Publishing Committee 
P. S. FLIPPIN Macon 




R. P. BROOKS Athens 


T. M. CUNNINGHAM, Jr Savannah 



P. S. FLIPPIN Macon 





A. C. NEWELL Atlanta 


W. E. THOMAS Valdosta 


ROBERT PRESTON BROOKS University of Georgia 


ELLIS MERTON COULTER University of Georgia 

CLEO HEARON Agnes Scott College 

PERCY SCOTT FLIPPIN Mercer University 





Evolution of Jurisprudence 

Judge Beverly D. Evans 3 

The Ante-Bellum Academy Movement in Georgia 

E. Merton Coulter, Ph.D 11 

Howell Cobb Papers 

Edited by R. P. Brooks, Ph.D 43 

Book Reviews • 65 

Exchanges 78 

Historical News 81 

The Georgia Historical Quarterly 

Volume V December, 1921 Numter 4 


United States Court, Southern District of Georgia 

The history of jurisprudence is but the tracing of the 
w^orld's civilization. All students of history subscribe to 
what may be termed the patriarchal theory of the division 
of the human race into organized communities. At least, 
all known societies were originally organized on the model 
of the Hebrew patriarchs as revealed through Scriptural 
history. The eldest male parent is absolutely supreme in 
his household ; his dominion extends to life and death, over 
wife, child, and slave, and the title of every species of prop- 
erty claimed by any member of the family inheres in him. 

Archaic society was not formed by a collection of individ- 
uals, but was an aggregation of families. The unit of 
ancient society was the family ; of modern society the indi- 
vidual. The head of the family at the same time declared 
and administered the law in his sphere of dominion. This 
law was but the individual will arbitrarily expressed and 
largely the reflex of the character of the male parent, shaped 
and directed by his environment. The union of families 
from a common stock into communities most probably 
formed the first effort of the human race towards organized 
society. New comers were incorporated into it by the law 
x)f adoption, which consists of feigning themselves to be of 
the same stock as the people on which they were engrafted. 


This limited and circumscribed society acknowledged a chief 
or king, who discharged all governmental and judicial func- 
tions. At this social epoch, law was but a judgment in the 
particular case, and not the enunciation of a principle. The 
judgment of the king was assumed to be the result of a 
direct divine inspiration. Afterwards came the notion that 
the established customs of the people should be enforced, 
and the judgment but affirmed the custom or punished its 
breach. When aristocracies succeeded to the power of 
kings, they became the depositories and administrators of 
law, without claiming direct inspiration for each deliver- 
ance of judgment. The law enforced by them was the estab- 
lished customs of the people, or customary law. This was 
before the era of printing, and the people generally conceded 
to the higher class that superior wisdom and learning which 
capacitated them to preserve and transmit their ancient 
usages. These usages in time were succinctly expressed in 
general terms in codes. The earliest code was but a recog- 
nition of the truth that recorded words are more trust- 
worthy than individual memory. The importance of codes 
is manifest. They afforded protection against the frauds of 
the oligarchy, and the debasement of national institutions. 

So vast in extent is my subject, that I cannot in the lim- 
ited time for this paper even attempt to discuss the develop- 
ment of jurisprudence during the epochs to which I have 
given such brief notice. The remainder of what I have to 
say concerns the evolution of jurisprudence through the 
administration of the law by the courts. I will assume, for 
it is easily demonstrable, that an unelastic code, promul- 
gated in the formative period of a state, would soon become 
obsolete. Law is stable, but civilization is progressive, and 
here we find exercise for the great principle of evolution; 
i. e. of evolving from fixed legal dogmas the multiform 
corollaries and deductions from the main proposition in the 
solution of the questions at issue. Perhaps the evolution of 
jurisprudence through judicial administration may be better 
illustrated by reference to the two great systems of juris- 
prudence which have influenced modern civilization. These 


two systems are the Roman or Civil Law, and the English 
Common Law, which prevails in parts of the British Empire 
and in the United States. 


The Roman law was simply the code of a single city- 
state, a code that grew out of a body of unwritten municipal 
customs, a special knowledge of which was for a long time 
confined to an aristocracy or oligarchy who claimed to be 
the sole repository of the principles by which controversies 
should be determined. The Roman Code of the Twelve 
Tables was merely an enunciation in written words of the 
existing customs of the Roman people, put forth at a time 
when Roman society had barely emerged from that intel- 
lectual condition, in which civil obligation and religious duty 
are inevitably confounded. New questions were constantly 
occurring, calling for an interpretation of the Code. This 
demand was met by the publications of the juris consults ^ 
under the name of *'ResponsaPrudentum/* The form of 
these responses varied a good deal at different periods of 
the Roman Empire, but throughout its whole course, they 
consisted of explanatory glosses on authoritative written 
documents, and at first they were exclusively collections of 
opinions interpretative of the Twelve Tables. The commen- 
tators thus educed a variety of canons which had never been 
dreamed of by the compilers of the Twelve Tables, and 
which were rarely or never found there. These ''Responsa 
Prudentum'' were used by the judges in pronouncing judg- 
ment as authority and precedent for the law there applied. 
In this way the "Twelve Tables" were evolved from a narrow 
statement of the customs of a primitive people, into a com- 
pendious system of law which today is the admiration of 
both philosopher and lawyer. 

But this was not the only means of development of the 
jus civile. The arts and the sciences were being rapidly de- 
veloped, commerce brought the people from every quarter 
of the then known world, and the civilization was daily be- 
coming more complex, and it will be apparent that a few 


positive declaratory laws designed for a primitive people^ 
under the most liberal construction, could not cover the 
countless cases arising from changed conditions. Besides 
the jus civile, was only administered where both litigants 
were Roman citizens. The disputes between foreigners 
were not judged by the law of the "Twelve Tables," neither 
was a foreigner entitled to the remedial processes of the 
courts. As much of the Roman wealth was derived from 
commerce, business with foreigners was encouraged. The 
foreign merchant demanded the corresponding obligation 
that the State should accord to him protection in property 
rights. So it was necessary to constitute a special court 
wherein the rights of foreigners were to be adjusted and 
enforced. This was met by constitutinga praeter peregri- 
nus (the praetor of foreigners) whose duty it was to admin- 
ister justice between Roman citizens and foreigners, between 
foreigner and foreigner, and between citizens of different 
cities within the empire. As such praetor could not rely 
upon the law of any one city for the criteria of his judg- 
ments, he naturally turned his eyes to the codes of all the 
cities from which came the swarm of litigants before him. 
In the generalizations necessarily made upon such broad data 
we have the beginnings of comparative jurisprudence, whose 
first fruit at Rome was the ascertainment of the fact, that 
there are certain uniform and universal conceptions of jus- 
tice common to all civilized people. Some common charac- 
teristic was discovered in all of them, which had a common 
object, and this characteristic was classed in the jus gen- 
tium. This jus gentium, or law common to all nations, is 
what the lawyer would call the Equity of the Civil Law. 
The praetor, who was the chancellor, was required on com- 
mencing his year of office to publish an edict or proclama- 
tion, in which he declared the manner in which he intended 
to administer his department. As it was impossible to con- 
struct anew every year a separate system of principles, the 
praetor seems to have regularly published his predecessor's 
edict, with such additions and changes as the exigency of 
the moment, or his own views of law compelled him to in- 


troduce. The praetor's proclamation, thus lengthened by a 
new portion every year, attained the name of the edietum 
perpetuum. This plan of annually publishing the edict 
ceased in the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. The last edict 
of a praetor was issued by Salvius Julianus, and comprises 
the whole body of Roman equity jurisprudence. 

Thus we find that the Civil Law as now enforced in France 
and every Latin country, in its basic principles was worked 
out and evolved by the juris consults and praetors without 
the aid of the law making power of the State. Nowadays 
we would call this "judge made law." 


It is generally accepted that the system of jurisprudence 
denominated the common law of England was evolved from 
ancient usages and customs. The laws promulgated by the 
English king Aethelbert, the convert of the abbot Augus- 
tine, and by many of his successors, were mainly of the 
nature of amendments of custom. It was not until the 
reign of that able and vigorous monarch, Aelfred, or Alfred 
the Great, that the collection of laws aspired to the charac- 
ter of codes. The judges who presided over the primitive 
courts were close to the common, people, and were very jeal- 
ous in their adherence to these laws, which had not only the 
royal sanction, but were enactments of the honored usages 
of the people themselves. The primitive system of law 
which thus matured in the provincial courts of the English 
people soon took on an iron rigorism of form which ren- 
dered it unelastic. Its entire inadequacy to the wants of a 
progressive civilization was strongly apparent upon the 
Norman Conquest. With the Norman occupation, came the 
establishment of a great court at Westminster, by whose 
agency a new system of royal law, which found its source 
in the king, was brought in to remedy the defects of the 
old, unelastic system of the customary law prevailing in the 
provincial courts of the people. As soon as this new judicial 
system became operative, as said by Mr. Digby, ^'decisions 
of tribunals came to constitute, in the strictest sense of the 


term, a source or cause of law. Judge-made or judiciary- 
law henceforth gradually displaced customary law." It was 
now that "the codeless myriad of precedents, the wilderness 
of single instances," began to be evolved, which contain the 
flexible dogmas of the common law. Mr. Dicey, in a recent 
book, has said: "The amount of judge-made law is in Eng- 
land far more extensive than a student easily realizes. 
Nine-tenths, at least, of the law of contract, and the whole, 
or nearly the whole, of the law of torts, are not to be discov- 
ered in any volume of the statutes." It may be a matter of 
surprise to learn that this most complicated and compendi- 
ous system of jurisprudence owes its development to a 
fiction. That fiction is the assumption that there exists 
appropriate law for every conceivable set of circumstances ; 
the law always exists in the breast of the judge, and only- 
needs the opportunity for its declaration and application. 
The new principles announced are assumed to be drawn 
from a pre-existing nebulous body of customary law, ample 
enough to supply doctrines for any possible condition of 
aflfairs. Let me give an instance of the application of the old 
customary law of the sixth century to the strenuous civil- 
ization of the present day. Of course neither Ethelbert nor 
Alfred the Great ever saw a trolley car; they never even 
dreamed about electrical motive power. Away back yonder 
developed the principle that a man might acquire the right, 
either by purchase or long use, to walk over his neighbor's 
ground. When this right was complete the neighbor could 
not revoke it, but he could object to his land being subjected 
to any other servitude. The next step was that inasmuch 
as the private way could not be obstructed, and as travel by 
horseback was becoming general, the user of the right of 
way might ride without imposing any additional servitude 
on the way. Civilization progressed and carriages became 
common, so the carriage was allowed as being included in 
this right to pass over the neighbor's land. And the trans- 
ition to horse cars, and then to electric cars operating on the 
public streets was easy, on the assumption that as the public 
must use the streets to go from place to place, every facility 


to aid the public in this respect, which did not interfere with 
the use of the street by foot passengers and horse carriages 
did not impose upon the streets any new burden. By similar 
process of evolution the simple laws of a primitive civiliza- 
tion have been extended to conditions created by the most 
modern development of art, science, invention and social 

Fictions were also employed by the courts to circumvent 
the effect of certain statutes. Even before the reign of the 
Conqueror feudalism was superseding the older freedom in 
England, but the tendency was quickened by the Conquest. 
The feudal system was based on primogeniture entailment 
of estates, and personal service rendered by the vassal or 
liege man to the lord of the manor. To prevent disintegra- 
tion of the large estates a statute of entails was enacted. 
The judges circumvented this statute by a fictitious pro- 
ceeding, called a common recovery, by which the present 
holder of the estate, by suffering a fine and recovery, de- 
feated the limitations over. The tenure of title of the liege- 
man depended on personal attendance on the lord of the 
manor in petty strifes. The manorial lord was frequently in 
need of money, and to supply present necessities would sell 
his right to demand personal service for a good round sum 
and an annual tribute of three barley corns or other insig- 
nificant stipend. Laws were passed to prevent the aliena- 
tion, by deed or will, of land held in such manner. This was 
overcome by judicial invention of what is termed " a use." 
That is, the owner of the land would convey it to another for 
his use, and then alien or devise this use. Equity would 
then interfere and protect the use, and compel a conveyance 
from the one in whom the legal title vested or his heirs, to 
the usee or his heirs. 

But these fictions were soon superseded by the recogni- 
tion of that branch of jurisprudence which is called Equity. 
It was early defined to be the "correction of that wherein 
the law by reason of its universality is deficient." A court 
of equity was considered a court of conscience. Equity un- 
dertook to relieve the severities and inequalities of the law 


by the application of moral principles. The idea was funda- 
mental that equity followed the analogies of the law, yet 
in reality it frequently opposed the law. The whole equi- 
table jurisprudence is founded on moral rules proceeding on 
the theory that in a given instance it would be unconscion- 
able to apply the rigid rule of law, or if the strict rule of the 
law be applied, it is inadequate to afford the proper relief to 
the complaining party. It is but natural that, founded on 
such broad basic principles, equity should expand into an 
almost limitless sphere of action. 

Thus it will be seen that the English common law and 
equitable jurisprudence has, through the growth of centu- 
ries, developed into its present state of effectiveness, not 
from legislation, but by the process of evolution. Perhaps 
in no other science do we find the principles of evolution the 
principle of growth and adaptability, better illustrated than 
in jurisprudence. As law is stable and civilization is pro- 
gressive, the two can only be kept in harmony by evolutional 
development, and this result has been attained largely 
through the medium of judicial interpretation and expo- 


The Ante-Bellum Academy Movement 
in Georgia^ 

University of Georgia 

The Revolution left in its wake in Georgia a darker train 
of devastation and troubled conditions than, perhaps, fell to 
the lot of any other of the Thirteen Colonies. Last to be set 
up, she had developed least in population and in wealth. 
Here civil warfare degenerated into personal strife, and left 
a deep gash in society when the Revolution ended. By 
sweeping confiscation laws and banishment the new state 
exterminated a portion of her population, valuable in the 
life of the colony, but hereafter rendered impossible in the 
new order. The period of state-making now begun found 
a people little educated, but a leadership of wisdom and 

In the days of the colony, whatever educational facilities 
then existing went on with little aid from the government. 
In 1784 an effort was made to convert the Bethesda Orphans' 
Home, the first institution of its kind in America, into a 
college; but the colonial government refused to grant a 
charter. Later attempts to set it up as an academy also 
met with failure. However, the leaders of the state at the 
very first opportunity committed the new government to a 
policy of education. In the first constitution, adopted in 
1777 in the midst of the Revolution, a declaration for state 
supported schools was made. The provision stated that 
schools should "be created in each county, and supported at 
the general expense of the State, as the legislature shall 
hereafter point out."i This provision was wide and far- 

* This paper was read before the Peabody Club of the University of Georgia, No- 
vember 17, 1920. 

* Walter McElrath, A Treatise on the Constitution of Georgia (Atlanta, 1912), 240 


reaching, easily interpreted to include both common schools 
and academies. In the words of President Alonzo Church, 
of the University of Georgia, in 1845 : "Had we carried out 
the views of her early patriots, and the framers of our first 
Constitution, Georgia would now have a system of education 
equal, if not superior, to that of any State in the Union."^ 

The first legislation looking toward a compliance with the 
educational provision of the constitution came in the midst 
of the bitterest part of the war in Georgia. The legislature 
in 1780 declared that a certain public lot in Augusta "in 
Broad Street be reserved for houses of Public simenaries 
[sic] and Schools."^ The next effort, which produced effec- 
tive results, was made before formal peace had been declared 
between Great Britain and her former colonies. In July of 
1783, provisions were made for the first two rungs of the 
educational ladder — the common schools and the academies. 
In the first case, a free school for the town of Washington, 
yet to be built, was provided for from the sale of town lots. 
This school also came under a general provision, granting 
to each county on application one thousand acres of vacant 
lands within its borders for free schools. This was the first 
general legislation for schools.^ In the case of secondary 
education academies were provided for at Waynesboro and 
at Augusta. The former was to be built by the proceeds 
from the sale of town lots and was to be endowed with two 
thousand acres of land within the county. In the case of the 
latter, since "a Seminary of learning is greatly necessary for 
the Instruction of our youth, and ought to be one of the first 
objects of attention after the promotion of Religion", cer- 
tain town lots were to be sold and part of the proceeds was 
to be used for an academy.^ This was the beginning of the 
famous Academy of Richmond County, flourishing to this 
day. Numerous special enactments have been passed for 
the support of this school. Before the end of the century it 
was given the right to rent out certain tracts of land south 

• Georsre White, Historical Collections of Georgia (1854), 66. 

^ The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia (Atlanta, 1911), XIX, Part II, 183. 
Ibid., 252, 258; J. A. Cuthbert, Digest of all the Laws and Resolutions ... of 
Ge^yrgia on Public Education and Free Schools (Milledereville, 1832). 1. 

" Colonial Records, XIX, Part II, 260-266. 


of the city and to use the money for the support of the 
school.^ In 1800 it was given the net proceeds from the ferry 
at Augusta, and later received moneys from the sale of ad- 
ditional town lots.'' 

Before the end of the century the spirit of education had 
seized the people, and as a result academies began to spring 
up in many places throughout the state. A recognition of 
this movement as well as a stimulus was the enactment of 
the first general legislation on behalf of secondary education 
in 1792. By this law every county in the state was given 
permission to buy at any sale of confiscated property an 
amount not to exceed one thousand pounds in value for the 
use of an academy. ^ 

This legislation was directly in keeping with the ideas of 
Abraham Baldwin and other far-seeing leaders of the state, 
formulated into a system of education which has challenged 
the admiration of succeeding generations. In 1785 a charter 
was granted for the establishment of a University system, 
embracing the whole gamut of education from the elemen- 
tary school to the college.^ In the words of the charter, "All 
public schools, instituted or to be supported by funds or 
public moneys, in this State, shall be considered as part or 
members of the University." ^^ The plan was a beautiful 
piece of logic throughout. The common school should pre- 
pare the student for academy, and the academy should be a 
feeder for the college. 

As guardian and promotor of this system, a body known 
as the Senatus Academicus was created. A "Board of Vis- 
itors" and a "Board of Trustees" were constituted, which, 
when meeting together, were to be the Senatus Academicus. 
The first named body soon came to represent in a general 

• Ibid.. 560, 561. 

Thomas R. R. Cobb, A Digest of the Statute Laws . . . of Georgia . . . prior to 
. . . 1851 (Athens, 1851), 1196. 

8 Oliver H. Prince, A Digest of the Laws of the State of Georgia . . . previous to 
the Session of the General Assembly of Dec. 1837 (Athens, 1837), Second Edition, 
17. Additional laws were passed in 1810 and 1817 carrying this provision into 
effect for the counties created after 1792, and allowing counties to seek out land 
subject to confiscation and to have it sold for the benefit of academies. Ibid. 

» The University began in reality in an act of the General Assembly of February 
25, 1784, which set apart twenty thousand acres each in Washington and Franklin 
counties "for the endowment of a College or seminary of learning." Cobb, Diaeat, 
1082. > 

10 Ibid.. 1086. 


way the state government in its relations to the educational 
system. It was made up of the Governor, President of the 
Senate, Speaker of the House, and the Senators.^^ The Board 
of Trustees had direct oversight of the college to be set up. 
The meetings of the Senatus Academicus were held in the 
Capitol on the first days of each annual session of the Gen- 
eral Assembly. 12 n ^^s in effect, really, a joint session of 
the State Senate and the Board of Trustees. 

The duties of this body were, then, not only to oversee the 
general interests of the college, but also to "remedy the de- 
fects, and advance the interests of literature throughout the 
State in general." In order to effectively do this, they were 
to acquaint themselves with the "state and regulations of 
the schools and places of education in their respective 
Counties" and "recommend what kind of schools and acad- 
emies shall be instituted . . . and prescribe what branches 
of education shall be taught and inculcated in each. They 
shall also examine and recommend the instructors to be 
employed in them."i^ 

Of especial importance was the relationship of the acad- 
emies to the college, an institution which was not estab- 
lished and set going until 1801.^^ It was termed officially 
Franklin College; but being the most evident part of the 
University of Georgia, it soon came to mean in the popular 
mind and terminology the University exclusively. In order 
to foster a close relationship and guidance of the University 
over the academies, the President was directed by the 
charter to visit these schools as often as his duties would 
allow, and in the event of his inability some member of the 
University faculty should visit each academy once a year. 
In 1806 it was made the duty of the President of the Univer- 
sity to lay before the Senatus Academicus at the annual 
meeting a full statement of the condition of the academies.^^ 

** The senator from the county represented by the Speaker of the House was not a 

« Cobb, Digest, 1083, 1084, 1087. 
»» Jbid., 1085. 

** Although the University of Georgia was the first institution of its kind to be char- 
tered, it was not the first in actual operation. The University of North Carolina 
established in 1794, holds this distinction. 

»■ Minutes of the Senatus Academicus, 1799-18^2, Nov. 13, 1805, p. 60. These min- 
utes are in MS in the Library of the University of Georgia. 


This would seem his logical duty in view of the relationship 
of the University to the academies. But as this relationship 
existed in theory only, the reports seem never to have been 
made, and later the President requested authority to appoint 
commissioners to visit the academies when the University 
authorities were unable to exercise this duty.^^ 

This, then, was in theory the well-planned system of edu- 
cation under which the statesmen of the day expected the 
people of Georgia to grow wise and prosperous. It was too 
good to be true in practice. Outside of theory and a slight 
semblance, this system of education never entered into the 
life of Georgia. It failed to function properly from the very 
beginning. In the words of the Senatus Academicus, itself, 
"The plan marked out for the literary advancement of the 
State of Georgia is beautiful in theory, and might be pro- 
ductive of the most useful results. But in practical utility 
it has never yet met the reasonable expectations of the 
community. "1"^ The elementary schools were never set going 
as contemplated in the University system and the academies 
were never kept track of. 

The first attempt to secure information about the acade- 
mies was made in 1799, when the Senatus Academicus pre- 
pared a circular letter to be sent "to the several Academies 
in the State" requesting information on "the state of their 
Academy, of their funds, in what they consist if of land and 
houses, a description of them, their situation and probable 
value, of the number of Tutors and students, the mode of 
tuition, and their annual expenses. '* They were also re- 
quired to submit their "plan of education."!^ As it became 
increasingly difficult to obtain replies to these letters, the 
usage later grew up for the senators to report the condition 
of the academies in their respective counties at the annual 
meeting of the Senatus Academicus. A condensed report 
was then made by this body to the Joint Standing Committee 
on Educaiton of the General Assembly with recommenda- 
tions when deemed necessaray. It became more diflScult as 

»« Ibid., Nov. 8, 1819, p. 140. 

" Ibid., Nov. 14, 1827, p. 192. 

»* Minutes of the Senatus Academicus, 1799-1842, Nov. 28, 1799, p. 2. 


time elapsed to procure these reports from the senators, due 
often to the failure of the commissioners of the academies to 
afford them the necessary information. By 1818 the Senatus 
Academicus had almost ceased to take notice of the acade- 
mies. But in this year the board resolved that since "it is 
important that the Senatus Academicus, presiding over the 
interests of the literature of the State should have minute 
and correct information of the condition of education in 
every station thereof", and that since the provision of the 
charter requiring reports to be made annually "had by long 
usage became almost obsolete", each senator hereafter must 
make a report on the state of education in, his respective 
county. 19 It became the custom thereafter for the secretary 
to call the roll of senators alphabetically for these reports. 
For a few years after this, most senators made reports of 
varying value, but never were reports made in sufficient 
numbers and of information exact enough to meet the pur- 
pose in view.2o 

By the opening of the nineteenth century, the state was 
well supplied with academies for her limited area of settle- 
ments. ^^ Besides those already mentioned, there had been 
chartered in 1788 two academies that were afterwards to 
became famous. One was founded in Sunbury ; the other at 
Savannah. Eight years later another academy was incor- 
porated and established at Louisville. In 1791, a Reverend 
Mr. Springer opened a classical school near Washington, 
notable on account of Jesse Mercer being among its students. 
Two years later Salem Academy was opened near the same 
place. This school seems to have remained open for only a 
few years.22 In 1794 Carmel Academy was opened in Colum- 
bia County by the Reverend Moses Waddel, afterwards to be- 
come president of the University of Georgia. Here William 

19 Ibid., Nov. 10, 1818, p. 135. 

=•» Minutes of the Senatus Academictis, 1799-18U2, pp. 139, 145, 164, 161, 168, 175, 
183, According to the minutes of the meeting of November 8, 1819, the Senators 
"made such verbal reports of the state of Literature in their respective counties 
as their knowledge of facts would permit." Ihid., 130. 

^^ Adiel Sherwood, A Gazetteer of the State of Georgia (Washington City, 1887), 
Third Edition, 320. Here it is stated that there were six incorporated academies 
in Georgia in 1801. 

»2 Ibid., 819, 820. This Salem Academy should not be confused with the Salem Acad- 
emy incorporated in Clark County in 1821. For the latter, see Cuthbert, Digeat, 48. 


H. Crawford, John C. Calhoun, Thomas W. Cobb, and other 
men destined to become famous in history studied under 
Waddel.23 Another school, set up as early as 1796, was con- 
ducted by Hope Hull in Wilkes County, and known as Reho- 
both Academy.24 These latter four schools were the personal 
products of their founders. Apparently they were not incor- 
porated and did not receive aid from the state. There 
was also in existence before 1800 a "Ladies' Academy" in 
Augusta, which will be discussed later. Eight academies 
made reports to the Senatus Academicus in 1800. 

During the period down to the War of 1812, the academy 
movement under state aid got an impetus; but of especial 
interest and significance was the entrance of the religious 
denominations into the educational field. As early as 1789 
the Methodist Conference had attempted to found a school, 
but without success.25 In 1804 the Baptists resolved to found 
a college. A committee of five was appointed to secure a 
charter from the legislature. Strange as it may seem today, 
the legislature refused the request. The church committee 
reported "that this failure is owing entirely to causes which 
may be removed by proper explanation." Speaking of the 
legislature, it said, "we trust that their liberality will not 
permit them after the opportunity of mature deliberation, 
to withhold from us so just a privilege, and for a purpose so 
universally beneficial."26 Despite this refusal, the Baptists 
appointed a committee to solicit funds and to choose a site 
for "The Baptist College of Georgia." 

The opposition to this movement found much to feed on 
in the very name of the college. To their understanding 
this name indicated a certain elevation of the Baptist de- 
nomination into a separate party. They feared the danger 
of the Baptists becoming a strong power in the state and 
operating to the detriment of the other denominations. 
Might this denomination not even become so powerful as to 

as Sherwood, Gazetteer, 320 ; J. E. D. Shipp, Giant Days or Life and Times of Wil- 
liam H. Crawford (Americus, 1909), 28. 

^* George G. Smith, The History of Georgia Methodism from 1786 to 1886 (Atanta, 
1913), 375. 

25 Ibid. 

^« S. Boykin, History of the Baptist Denomination in 'Georgia (Atlanta, 1881), 66. 


their own purposes ? A more reasonable part of the opposi- 
tion feared for the safety of the University, now struggling 
to maintain itself. Would not a denominational college ap- 
secure control of the state treasury and vote its funds for 
pealing to denominational bias rob the University of a con- 
siderable portion of its patronage 1^'^ The opposition aroused 
against such an enterprise was so great, that the idea of a 
college was given up in the face of the allurement of the 
legislature that a charter for an academy would be granted. 
The Baptists accepted this charter, and in 1807 Mount Enon 
Academy was founded fifteen miles southwest of Augusta. 
Depending largely on its first teachers for its reputation 
and prosperity, it flourished for a time, but gradually de- 
clined about 1811.28 

During the period directly following the War of 1812, a 
few academies were being set up, some of the more impor- 
tant ones growing out of the vision and energy of individuals 
rather than through the inducement of state aid. Eatonton 
Academy founded in 1816, was of this type. Here Alonzo 
Church taught for a time before going to the University as 
professor and later president.^^ But there was a feeling 
among many leaders that schools were not receiving proper 
aid from the state. The Senatus Academicus had early de- 
cided that all moneys held in the name of the University of 
Georgia should be used for Franklin College exclusively. 
This policy was declared in 1804 in answer to a request of the 
Greene County Academy for pecuniary aid. ^^ However, in 
1819, the Senatus Academicus appointed a committee "to 
take into consideration the present state of Literature in 
each County, and report the best means of aiding their pub- 
lic Institutions which are deficient in funds and to establish 
others in such counties as are without any.^^i As an out- 
come to this general agitation for more aid to these schools, 
two laws were passed in 1820 aiding academies. By the one, 

»' Ibid., 57-59. 

** Ibid., 60; Sherwood. Gazetteer, 820. 

*• R. M. Johnston, "Early Educational Life of Middle Georgia" in Report of the 

Commissioner of Education, 1896-1896 (Washington, 1897), I, 862. 
>o Minutes of the Senatus Academicus, 1799-18^2, Nov. 14, 1804, p. 55. 
«' Ibid.. Nov. 8. 1819, p. 140. 


all real estate of academies was exempted from taxation ; by 
the other, all moneys secured by the state through confis- 
cated or reverted property were "set apart as a fund for 
the promotion of literature and the advancement of the 
county academies."32 

During the following year, legislation of much more far- 
reaching consequence was enacted. This law set aside 
$500,000, "the one half for the support and encouragement 
of free schools, and the other half for the permanent endow- 
ment of county academies." This money was to be invested 
in certain designated bank stocks and only the interest was 
to be used for school purposes. An attempt was also made 
by this law to ascertain the condition of the academies in the 
different counties, especially as to their income from confis- 
cated lands and other endowments. ^^ The following year 
Governor John Clark recommended in his message to the 
legislature that all free school funds be added to the acade- 
mies. "There is, happily," he said, "too little poverty, and 
too much proud independence in our country, even to render 
poor schools on any extensive plan, necessary or profitable 
to the community." He would have a certain number of the 
poor children educated free in the academies.^^ 

An attempt to put all counties on an equality in the en- 
dowment of their academies was made in 1822. Every 
county was to be entitled to a sum total of $2000 from the 
state, including all endowments already received. There- 
after the academy funds of the state were to be distributed 
among the counties proportional to the representation from 
each county in the legislature.^^ In 1824 the funds to each 
county averaged about $300.^^ As many counties had more 
than one academy, the principle was adopted, that the acad- 
emies should participate in the funds apportioned to the 
counties according to the number of students taught during 

32 Prince, Digest, 18, 19. 

33 Ibid., 19. 

3< Georgia Journal, Nov. 12, 1822. 

3» Prince, Digest, 20. 

3« Georgia Journal, July 27. 1824. 


the preceding year.^^ This ruling naturally put a premium 
on large attendance. 

Apart from this general legislation, there were numerous 
special acts for particular counties and even for specific 
academies. All were incorporated by special enactments, 
which also named the commissioners or trustees. In many 
instances the commissioners were self-perpetuating. In 
other cases they were elected by the subscribers of the 
schools as in the Powellton Academy, while in Union county 
they were elected at intervals by the people.^^ Lotteries 
were frequently used in raising funds for the academies. 
Special legislation was required for this.^^ As late as 1828 
Fayette county was granted permission to raise $10,000 for 
the county academy by a lottery.^*^ In Morgan, Greene, and 
Wilkes counties, all fines and forfeitures arising from crim- 
inal prosecutions were given to the academies.^^ In the case 
of many of the counties, the legislature in incorporating 
academies would make an appropriation from the state 
treasury for a building. Almost invariably the amount was 
$815. Among the counties receiving this building appropri- 
ation were Cass, Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, and 

The academies, although considered boys* schools, were 
generally co-educational. In this sense they were divided 
into a male and a female department.^^ But there were also 
numerous schools established at different times in different 
parts of the state, generally founded and conducted by 
women and called "Female Seminaries'' or "Female Acade- 
mies." Education was early held out as a crowning grace 
for girls. The Board of Visitors of Wrightsboro Female 
Academy in their report in 1821 declared that "The excel- 
lencies emanating from female minds, properly embellished, 

••«» Prince, Digest. 25. 

■'«" Cuthbert, Digest, passim. 

••«• Prince, Digest, 976. 

■•» Prince, Digest, 943. 

«> Cuthbert, Digest, 74. 

■•» Prince, Digest, 956, passim. 

4 3 For example, note the case of Madison Academy. Georgia Journal, Dec. 12, 1820. 


obtain a command over the virtous, more lasting than 
beauty, and more attractive than fortune."^* 

As early as 1796 the following announcement appeared in 
the Augusta Chronicle concerning a school for girls in Au- 
gusta: "Ladies Academy. Upwards of fifty scholars graced 
this Academy at the recommencement; but there are now 
four experienced tutors, and each can do ample justice to 
20 pupils. 

"Grown ladies will meet with suitable companions, as the 
superior qualifications of the mind have preceded the com- 
mon form; and the want of teachers is a sufiident reason 
for engaging at an advanced period, to finish the residue of 
their lives in virtue, ease and affluence. ONE YEARS 

"Since the acquisition of Teachers twelve young men can 
be taught the powers of Oratory, and to act with grace and 
confidence on any public floor : This in a republican govern- 
ment is deemed superior to every other branch of literature. 
... All kinds of produce will be taken prompt."^^ Although 
this school was designated an academy, it apparently did 
not in its earliest existence teach academy subjects, as a 
Mrs. Jones promised to "teach reading, writing, needlework 
in the most approved and fashionable manner . . . " ^e As 
to the cost, terms wer "30 dollars per quarter — a moiety in 
bacon or flour at the market price, the residue in cash."^^ 

Another school for girls was established very early in the 
century near Athens. It was run by women on a plantation 
where they "have it in their power to accommodate their 
friends and the public, who shall entrust their children to 
their care at the low price of 80 dollars per annum; for 
which they will be instructed in Reading, Writing, Arithme- 
tic, English Grammar, the rudiments of Geography, Needle 
Work and every useful accomplishment. "^^ Other schools 

** Ibid., Dec. 25, 1821. 

*5 Issue of Jan. 9. 1796. 

*• Augusta Chronicle, May 80, 1801. 

*» Ibid.. Sept. 80, 1797. 

** Foreign Correspondent and Georgia Express, May 19, 1810 ; Sherwood, Gazetteer, 


for girls were soon opened in Athens, one being set up on a 
lot donated by the trustees of the University. ^^ Although 
most of the schools for girls were designated academies, 
they seem to have taught few if any of the subjects common 
to real academies. The Washington Female Acadmy gave 
the rather ambitious promise to teach "every branch of use- 
ful and ornamental education, with unremitting attention" 
for $100 annually. s^' But there was established about 1833 
an academy each at Sparta and at Washington which mer- 
ited the name. Girls attended these schools from widely 
over the state, and even some were drawn from Alabama 
and Mississippi.^^ 

An interesting experiment in education was made in 
Georgia about this time. The exuberance of spirit and en- 
thusiasm, which burst forth throughout the United States 
in the early Thirties and carried the people into many a 
new "ism'' and reform, did not miss Georgia. One of the 
important evidences was the experiment in the so-called 
manual labor school. The main object was not to teach 
manual arts ; but rather was labor connected with the pur- 
suit of the ordinary academic subjects. The idea did not 
originate in Georgia. It had started earlier in the North 
and was thei^e being tried out with success as then judged. 
In the latter 'Twenties the press of the state began to carry 
communications to the educators of Georgia, describing the 
success of a manual labor school in operation at Utica, 
New York.52 

In Georgia the movement originated and was carried for- 
ward through private enterprise. These schools soon became 
the particular concern of certain religious denominations 
and lived and died under their tutelage; however, they led 
directly to the three most important denominational colleges 
in the state today. The Reverend Adiel Sherwood was the 
pioneer in this movement in Georgia. He first tried to inter- 

*• A. L. Hull, Annala of Athens, Georgia. 1801-1901 (Athens, 1906), 99; Athens 

Gazette. Sept. 7, 1815. 
''° Ibid., June 23, 1814. 

'» Johnston. "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 38. 
»« For example, aee Georgia Journal. Oct. 10, 1829. 


est the Baptists in setting up a manual labor school, but was 
unsuccessful in the beginning. So in 1832 he decided to 
open such a school on his own initiative. He secured a plan- 
tation near Eatonton and announced in the state papers that 
he was ready to receive a limited number of boys between 
the ages of twelve and seventeen.^^ Proving by the first 
year's work that it could be made a success, he was ap- 
proached by the Baptists with the proposition that he com- 
bine his school with one to be opened by that denomination 
near Greensboro. The main purpose of the Baptists as well 
as other denominations who folloAved in this movement was 
to afford facilities for educating their ministers. It was be- 
lieved that by combining manual labor with their studies the 
expense of their education could be met in this way. It would 
also encourage health, economy, industry, and add a sense of 
dignity to manual labor.^^ From the very beginning this 
Baptist school grew in size and in popularity. Soon there 
were more applicants than could be taken care of. It 
owned about a thousand acres of land with a large number 
of horses, cattle, and hogs. The students were required to 
labor from two to three hours a day, "growing cotton, corn, 

s» Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 871, 873 ; Georgia Journal, 
Dec. 22, 1832. 

S4 Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 866-869. 

W. Baird made a report to the Teachers' Society in 1832 on the Manual Labor 
System in which he argued for the manual labor school. He declared "it must be 
admitted that to spend the time of cessation from study in entire vacuity of 
thought in listless sauntering, or in the giddy precipitate round of school boy 
sports, tends to produce a listlessness and lividity of mind, by no means favorable 
to the acquisition of knowledge or to the discharge of the various duties of life." 
As most Georgians would most likely become planters they should know something 
about the "business of planting" and "the manner in which those kinds of labor 
are performed." "The wild speculation of such men concerning the ordinary 
affairs of life, their liabilty to be deceived and defrauded by crafty and unprin- 
cipled workmen, and the necessary failure of many of their plans, through ignor- 
ance on the part of their projectors, must have been frequently remarked by every 
observant individual. ... By spending an hour or two every day in mechanical 
or agricultural employment considerable knowledge might be obtained in those 
departments during an academic or collegiate education without in the smallest 
degree retarding the pupils in their regular studies." Young women should also 
attend the manual labor schools as the "cultivation of a kitchen, garden or flower 
garden, would contribute both to the beauty of their complection and the delicacy 
of their minds. Were the school room frequently exchanged for those elysian 
spots and the weary mind recreated in rearing a plant or cultivatiog a flower gar- 
den, the beneficial effects would soon be obvious. ... To no other person is the 
knowledge of the nature and properties of garden vegetables and the best method 
of cultivating them, of more importance than to the mistress of a family, and 
nothing perhaps contributes more to refinement of thought and delicacy of mind, 
than to cultivate and visit frequently, those silent retreats where beauty blooms, 
where fragrance breathes, and nature appears in her loveliest habiliments." 
Reprint of the Minutes of the Proceedings of the Teachers' Society Convened at 
MiUedgeville, December 17th, 18th and 19th, 18S2 (Original in the University of 
Georgia Library), 8, 9. 


potatoes, etc., etc., and are happy." This school grew into 
the present Mercer University.^^ 

Almost simultaneously with the establishment of the Bap- 
tist school, the Presbyterians founded a manual labor school 
near Athens. Its location was unfortunate on account of 
being too close to the University. "It was found that boys 
who labored part of their time were not admitted, as stu- 
dents, to social equality with young gentlemen in the Univer- 
sity classes."^^ The school was broken up in 1835 into two 
branches and moved away. One branch was located near 
Lawrenceville in Gwinnett County, and called Gwinnett In- 
stitute; the other was established at Midway. On account 
of a division of the funds and from other general causes, 
both schools were soon abandoned. But out of this experi- 
ment grew Oglethorpe University of today.^"^ 

In line with the other two leading religious denominations, 
the Methodists in this same general period set up their man- 
ual labor school near Covington. It was very popular from 
the start — turning away during the period of its existence 
more than five hundred students.^^ Although not directly 
the forerunner of Emory University, it was soon merged 
with that school and in a short while ceased to exist. Debt 
brought on by unscientific agriculture was largely the cause 
of its discontinuance. This was, indeed, one of the general 
causes for the downful of this kind of school. The amount 
of stock and machinery necessary to afford the students 
proper accommodations in their two or three hours work 
a day was too severe a drain on the institution during the 
period of their inactivity.^^ 

The curriculum in these schools was not necessarily differ- 
ent from that of the academies. The fact that the poor 

o» Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 866-869; Sherwood, 
Gazetteer, 324-327. 

06 John S. Wilson, Necrology or Memorials of Deceased Ministers . . . with a His- 
torical Introduction (Atlanta, 1869), 35. 

»» Ibid., 85, 36. 

»« It waa declared to be a great success as a, social institution. On this point, the 
authorities reported : "It is also a fact worthy of observation, that all classes of 
our Students — the rude and the cultivated, the poor and the rich, mingle without 
distinction in their common labor and engage alike and with equal alacrity in 
whatever duties are assigned them, free from the effect of that magic power 
which the aristocracy too often exert under difficult circumstances and different 
systems of education." American Annals of Education, VI, 1836. 

»» Smith, Mehtodiem, 376, 377. 


student might be enabled to bear his expenses as he went 
along and that the wealthier student might be taught the 
dignity of labor, made strong appeals to many throughout 
the state. Governor Lumpkin strongly approved of these 
schools, particularly as it solved the problem, in his estima- 
tion, of the poor student's education. In his message to the 
legislature in 1834 he predicted that, "Unless labor be con- 
nected with education, the poor must chiefly be excluded 
from our schools and colleges." He declared that "The supe- 
rior advantages of this system are no longer matters of 
mere theory, but have been satisfactorily tested in many 
of the most respectable Academies and Colleges."^^ The leg- 
islature expressed cordial approbation of the manual labor 
schools and declared its willingness to foster and encourage 
them. It refused, however, to appropriate money directly 
in aid of these denominational schools.^^ 

In addition to the reasons already intimated as bringing 
about the downfall of the manual labor schools, there were 
other fundamental causes. Most students had an inherent 
distaste for the m^anual labor part of the curriculum. Many 
attained high excellency in their literary subjects, but made 
miserable failures in the field of manual labor. Mercer Uni- 
versity, which continued the manual labor feature for a 
while after its foundation, was soon forced to abandon it as 
many of its students left for the State University to escape 
this objectionable feature.^^ The Mercer authorities declared 
they were giving it up as they were "unable to accomplish 
to any desired extent the important and benevolent designs 
for which it was originally organized."^^ The Presbyterians 
abandoned the manual labor part as "It was discovered that 
young men could not, or would not, work and study too. 
Like many other beautiful theories, it soon exploded, and 
was everywhere abandoned."^^ 

The educational awakening of the 'Thirties carried the 
state forward also along other lines. Of especial importance 

«• Johnston. "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 871 ; Georgia Jotimah 

Nov. 6, 1833 ; Nov. 5, 1834. 
«» Prince, Digest. 29 : Georgia Journal, Dec, 24, 1834. 
«' Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Geoi-gia," 870-878. 
«3 Ibid.. 873. 
«* Wilson, Necrology, 36. 


was the rising consciousness of the teachers, which led them 
to think of their work as a profession capable of discussion 
and betterment. This feeling speedily led to a widespread 
demand among the leading teachers to effect an association 
of the teachers of the state. In the summer of 1831, the 
suggestion was made that a convention should be held in the 
following December at Milledgeville. The rector of Oc- 
mulgee Academy declared that "Much good will be done, 
harmony and concert established, and a uniform, rational, 
radical and philisophical mode of instruction adopted." "It 
has often been a complaint too true", he continued, "that 
the modes of teaching are almost as numerous as are the 
teachers of our schools."^^ According to plans, the first 
teachers' convention in the history of the state was held in 
Milledgeville in the latter part of December.^e There were 
about twenty teachers present. A constitution was drawn 
up and adopted and a complete organization installed and 
set going. The association was officially termed the 
"Teachers Society and Board of Education of the State of 
Georgia." Of particular note was the board of nine censors 
appointed to examine all members to determine whether 
they should receive "certificates of moral and literary qual- 
ifications to teach." This was an attempt to award to 
teachers their proper standing in their profession, in the 
absence of any state regulations on the subject. Annual 
and semi-annual meetings were to be held in December and 
June respectively. ^"^ The Macon Messenger held out high 
hopes in this movement among the teachers. It predicted 
that "The adoption of some uniform system of instruction 
will be one 6f the consequences of this meeting of teachers, 
and instead of instructing or more properly clogging the 
youthful mind according to the caprice and humor of every 
ignorant pedagogue ; teaching will become a system, subject 

«s Communication to Georgia Journal, June 16, 1831. 

'"* C. E. Jones in Education in Georgia, 31, erroneously states that the first state 
teacherj' association was held in Atlanta in 1869. 

•^ Georgia Journal, Dec. 29, 1831. The minutes of the Second annual meeting: are in 
the University of Georgia Library. Here may be found the constitution of the 
society and other interesting information concerning this body of teachers and 
eductaional conditions in the state generally. Within recent years a reprint of 
these minutes had been made in pamphlet form. 


to the rules of science, conducted by intelligent and moral 

A logical and legitimate concomitant of a teachers' associ- 
ation is a teachers' journal. In 1833 R. C. Brown announced 
the early publication of "The Georgia Academican and 
Southern Journal of Education."^^ Its purpose was to arouse 
the people throughout the state on educational subjects and 
to afford the teachers a medium of expression. But this was 
too ambitious an undertaking in view of the educational 
conditions in the state at that time. Its support was scanty 
from the beginning and after one year's troubled existence 
it was forced to suspend. In speaking of its demise, an edu- 
cational journal in the North said : "We are sorry to record 
the obituary of another periodical on education. The Acad- 
emican' which has been struggling for existence for nearly 
a year, is about to be discontinued, for want of patronage. 
. . . We had a faint hope that the good sense and intelli- 
gence of the people of Georgia would have sustained a 
journal of only eight semi-monthly pages, to be devoted ex- 
clusively to education and instruction; and above all that 
they would not suffer it to perish in its very infancy. But 
thus it is. . . . Parents and teachers! guardians of the re- 
public ! ought these things to be so V'^^ 

An educational association that had its beginning in the 
early 'Twenties was the Georgia Educational Society. This 
was projected in 1823 by the Presbyterian Church as a non- 
denominational organization designed primarily to provide 
ministers of the Gospel with better education. Its officers 
were taken from the different denominations. According 
to its constitution adopted in the Chapel of the University 
in 1823, its beneficiaries were allowed to study at that insti- 
tution or at any respectable academy.'^i This society made 
a valuable contribution to the education of the times. Many 
poor but ambitious boys were helped through it to secure 
an education. Alexander H. Stephens was for a time a 

«iN Quoted in Georeia Journal Dec. 29, 1831. 

«!. Ibid., Oct. 30, 1833. 

'O American Annals of Education, IV, Oct. 1834, 482. 

^« Wilson, Necrology. 29, 30. 


beneficiary.'^^ gy the early Thirties this organization had 
come completely under the control of the Presbyterians, and 
it was through this society that that denomination made its 
first venture in manual labor schools, setting up the one near 
Athens, as already mentioned. 

As a feeder for the academy and very often directly con- 
nected with it, was the "free school" or "poor school." In 
order to understand the educational conditions in which the 
academies operated, it is necessary to examine briefly these 
elementary schools. In addition to the thousand acres in 
each county set aside in 1783 for such schools, money ap- 
propriations were made at different times. In 1817 the 
legislature declared that as "the present system of educa- 
tion in this State is not well calculated for the general dif- 
fusion and equal distribution of useful knowledge", the sum 
of $250,000 should be set apart "for the future establishment 
and support of Free Schools throughout this State."'^^ An- 
other appropriation of an equal amount in 1821 was also 
made "to increase the funds heretofore set apart for the 
encouragement and support of Free Schools."'^^ In addition 
to this general legislation, there was a mass of special laws 
making certain arrangements in different counties. In 
some counties special taxes might be levied, in others certain 
lots were set aside as in Appling, Irwin, Early, Walton, 
Gwinnett, Hall and Habersham, where lots 10 and 100 were 
to be used "for the education of poor children."^^ In frequent 
instances the academy fund was added to the poor schools. 
Such was the case in Appling, Decatur, Dooly, and Irwin 

counties. In other cases the reverse was true, as in Houston 

There was no real system to these schools. Wandering 
pedagogues began teaching wherever prospects warranted. 
They were given a certain recompense from these poor school 
funds according to the number of "poor children" they 

" Ibid., 34, 35. 

»» Prince, Digeat, 18. 

** Prince, Digeat, 19. 

"• Ibid.. 18 : Cuthbert, Digeat, 9. 

''* Ibid., 0, 15, passim; Prince, Digeat, 951, passim. In 1830 a law was passed trans- 

ferrinn: one-fourth of the poor school fund of Houston Caunty to the "Houston 

County Ockmulgee Academy." Ibid. 960. 


taught. There was no general law requiring that teachers 
submit to a test and receive a license ; but in some counties 
persons proposing to teach were required to submit to an 
examination by the judges of the inferior court.'^'^ By gen- 
eral law "poor children" were those "whose extreme indi- 
gence entitle them to a participation in the poor school 
fund." The justices of the peace were required to make out 
a list of such children who should be sent to school whenever 
a school could "be had sufficiently near to their place of 
residence. '"^8 Children coming into the benefits of the poor 
school funds were to be within the ages of eight and eight- 
een, and none should be taught at public expense for more 
than three years. Neither should aid be given "when such 
child has been taught reading, writing, and the usual rules 
of arithmetic. '"^9 In one county, at least, Emanuel, "no child 
or children shall receive their tuition gratis ;" but in this 
county "such books and paper, as the children may want, 
while at school" were to be paid for by the county. ^<^ In 
Glynn County no child was considered "poor" whose parents 
paid at least two dollars in state taxes.^^ 

The poor school plan undoubtedly failed of its purpose. 
Unquestionably many a Georgian, poor but proud, let his 
children grow up in illiteracy, rather than set them apart 
in the school as "poor children." Governor Schley in his 
message to the legislature in 1837 gave eloquent testimony 
of this. He said, in part: "There should be no such desig- 
nations as 'Academic' and Toor School' because they are 
invidious and insulting. Poverty, though a great inconven- 
ience, is no crime, and it is highly improper, whilst you offer 
to aid the cause of education, to say to a portion of the 
people; you are poor: Thousands of freemen who, though 
indigent, are honest, patriotic and valuable citizens, will 
refuse your bounty and despise the hand that offers it, be- 

7" Ibid. 933, passim. The provision in the University charter of 1785 that the Senatus 
Academicus should examine teachers or appoint persons to do so seems never to 
have been generally carried out. 

•8 Ibid., 23. 

'^' Prince, Digest, 20. Various age limits obtained at different times. 

*>« Cuthbert, Digest, 15, 16. This law was passed in 1824. 

*** Ibid., 17. The academy trustees and commissioners were frequently instrusted with 
the management of the poor schools. 


cause it is accompanied with insult. "^^ Exact information 
on the number of children in school cannot be had, as the 
counties were very careless in making reports — in some 
years scarcely half made reports. ^^ It was estimated in 
1829 that there were about 23,000 children in the common 
schools.^^ In 1832 reports from 49 counties out of 89, 
showed that more than seven thousand children received 
aid from the state. A contemporary writer estimated that 
five times as many children paid tuition as received state 
aid.^5 According to these estimates, there were almost 
twice as many children attending school in 1832 as in 1829, 
which was certainly not true. In 1835, according to counties, 
the number of school children classed as "poor" ranged from 
16 in Carroll to 335 in Hancock.^^ In 1848 sixty-six counties 
reported 23,106 children in the common schools; in 1849 
seventy-nine counties reported 30,862 ; while in 1850 it was 
estimated that there were 1,251 schools with 1,265 teachers 
instructing 32,705 pupils.^"^ In 1854 about 20,000 children 
received state aid. 

The amount yielded from state endowments was not large 
at any time and was never approximately sufficient. The 
free schools received from the state from 1822 to 1829 an 
amount slightly exceeding $46,000.^^ During the decade 
preceding the Civil War the state funds afforded about an 
average of $23,000 annually for poor schools.^^ 

The period of most rapid growth in numbers of academies 
began in the Twenties and continued down through the 
'Thirties. By 1840 there was a considerable slacking up.^^ 
In 1825 Governor Troup observed that the "county acade- 
mies increase in numbers and respectability" and advocated 

■* Georgia Journal, Nov. 7, 1837. 

8* In 1827 the Senatus Academicus declared that these reports were next to impos- 
sible to get, and that, therefore, no ^eneraizations could be made. Mmutea of 
the Senatus Academicus, 1799-18^2, Nov. 14, 1827. 

8« Sherwood, Gazetteer, 321. 

»> Ibid., 322. In 1835 according to estimates there were about 37,000 children in the 

common schools. 

M Ibid. 

«» Cobb, Digest, 1 ; American Journal of Education, I, 368. 

»« Sherwood, Gazetteer, 321. 

»• American Journal of Education, I, 874. 

•» Prince, Digest, 980-973. 


a more liberal endowment from the state.^^ The number had 
increased by 1829 to about ninety. A contemporary de- 
clared that few persons born in the nineteenth century were 
"entirely destitute of education; but thousands, who were 
thrown into life before 1800, know not a letter."92 By 1832 
the academies had increased to 108 f^ and two years later a 
committee of the Teachers* Society reported that "Many 
new schools of a high order, especially female seminaries, 
have lately been established, and the county classical schools 
are improving in their character."^^ In 1850 there were 219 
academies with 318 teachers.^^ The number of academies 
varied widely in the different counties. At this time Appling 
had none whatever; Monroe had twenty-five.^^ There were 
never perhaps more than ten thousand students in all the 
academies at any given time.^*^ 

The teachers in the academies, as to be expected, were 
good, bad, and indifferent. Certain academies exerted a 
powerful influence on account of their excellent teachers. 
The instructors at Mount Zion and Powellton academies for 
many years without an exception came from New England 
and were graduates of Middlebury College. They "con- 
ducted academic instruction on a scale equal to any at that 
period in the whole North."^^ Many a New Englander, dur- 
ing the time before his kind became unpopular in the South, 
came to Georgia in search of a school. It became a custom 
among the academies in their quest for patronage, after first 
reciting their wonderfully healthful locations, to praise the 
moral integrity and strict honor of their teachers. But on 
account of the large number of academies, there must have 

91 Annual message to the legislature in Georgia Journal, Nov. 15, 1825. Continuing: 
he said, "It is gratifying to observe the multiplication of institutions for the in- 
struction of youth in every quarter of the state, founded either by public or 
private contribution, and cherished by an ardent feeling in the cause of mental 
improvement with which every class of the community seems to be animated." 

sa Sherwood, Gazetteer, 321. 

»» Ibid. 

** American Annala of Education, IV, 1834. 

** American Journal of Education, I, 1856, 368; J. S. Stewart, "High School Devel- 
opment in Georgia before the Civil War," in High School Quarterly, July, 1913, 

»« Prince, Digest, 976; Cobb, Digest, 1187. 

•'^ According to the American Journal of Education, I, 368, there were 9,056 studente 

in the academies in 1850. 
»8 Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 869. 


been many teachers, mediocre and worse. In the absence of 
any state system of examinations and licensing, each acade- 
my was the judge of the qualifications of its instructors. And 
in the competition for teachers, according to a contempo- 
rary, selection being made on no real principle, "there are a 
great many unprincipled adventurers employed."^^ Another 
observer of the times believed "There ought to be a Reform- 
ation in the Academies. . . . There is too much indulgence 
given to teachers and students. Too little authority is 
vested in teachers over the morals and education of the 
students. Too little talents, morals, industry, labor and dis- 
cipline are required in teachers. Too little submission is 
required of students, to preceptors, and too little time is 
spent in Academies by all."!^^ 

The divisions of the academies into departments and the 
curricula differed somewhat in the different schools. The 
better established and supported academies presented a 
variety of subjects and departments. The Baldwin County 
Academy, representing the best type, had "four schools or 
departments." The "first or preparatory department" pre- 
sented the ordinary beginning subjects, as reading, writing, 
and arithmetic. The "second or improved department" af- 
forded instruction in Grammar, Elocution, Composition, 
Astronomy, Mithology, History, Philosophy, and other sub- 

99 Correspondence in Georgia Journal, Oct. 10, 1820. 

100 Correspondence Ibid., May 15, 1830. F. D. Cummings, in a paper before the 
Teachers' Society at its second annual meeting in Milledgeville, December, 1832, 
made the following criticisms of the trustees of the academies : "Many of these 
little bodies politic when assembled in weighty consultation, assume the infalli- 
bility of the pope and ecclesiastical councils of Rome, and the more learned and 
qualified the teacher is, the fitter subject is he of their bull of excomimunication. 
The greater the victim the more noble the sacrifice. Hecatombs of teachers 
have in this way been sacrificed by these priests of ignorance, prejudice and cov- 
etousness. Gentlemen are gentlemen all the world over, and among these small 
corporations there are gentlemen ; but genrally they are in the minority on 
questions of liberal salaries, literature and science. . . . We mean not to propose 
amendment to, but an entire abolition of the trustee system, and in its stead 
suggest that the Rectors of incorporated academies, as they are a part and sub- 
ject to the jurisdiction of the University, be appointed by the Governor by and 
with the advice and consent of the Senatus Academicus from among candidates 
bearing the certificates of this body or its Censors. The appointments should be 
for one year and the distribution of the academic fund be paid directly to the 
Rectors from the Treasury on the order of the Executive. To insure fidelity in 
the discharge of scholastic duties and government of the institutions, visitors be 
nominated by the same authority as is now the practice by the President of the 
United States for the Military school at West Point, who shall twice a year 
visit every academy, and attend the public examinations, and report without 
restriction all matters coming under their inspection (except the monies) to the 
Governor, Senatus Academicus, or to the Legislature as the case may be." Re- 
print of Minutes of the Proceedings of the Teachers' Society Convened at Mil- 
ledgeville, December 17th, 18th and 19th, 1882 (Original in University of Georgia 
Library), 7, 8, 


jects of an allied nature. The "Classical Department" was 
intended for those preparing to enter the University and 
dealt principally with Latin, Greek, and similar subjects. 
For those preparing for "science and the business of life, 
particularly Surveying" a "Mathematical Course" was de- 
signed. Here were studied such subjects as Algebra, Loga- 
rithms, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Conic Sections.^**^ 
Chatham Academy, which had been all but captured by the 
girls by 1834 (of its 314 students 203 were girls), had three 
Female Departments, viz: primary, junior, and senior. Its 
other departments were, English, Classical and Mathemat- 
ical, French, and Drawing and Painting. 102 Most of the 
academies, and especially the female academies, included 
music. But in the early times, there was strong opposition 
from the Methodists and Baptists against certain features 
of the musical course. This was especially true in the case 
of the violin which was considered an instrument of the 
dance. At least one academy was forced to suspend on ac- 
count of the opposition it stirred up by instructing in this 
subject. i°3 

As one of the fundamental ideas of the University system 
was that the academies should be preparatory schools for 
the University, the Senatus Academicus in 1827 took note 
of their failure to meet this expectation. It declared that 
the "county academies intended by the system to be ramifi- 
cations of the Mother Stock of learning, have as yet admin- 
istered but little to the advantage of their common parent. 
The defects which are so visible to all, are not to be sought 
for in imperfections of the System, but may be found in the 
improper application of the provisions of the system, to the 
end for which it was intended." And since "the academical 
learning is so scantily diffused, or so imperfectly communi- 

»o» Announcement in Georgia Journal, Dec. 25, 1821. The rector of the Augusta 
Academy advertised in the Augusta Chronicle, Augrust 22, 1807, for an instructor 
who must be able to qualify students "for entering either the Sophomore or Jun- 
ior classes of any University . . . . " "Printers who are friendly to the promo- 
tion of Literature and Science" were requested to copy the advertisement. 

«»2 American Annals of Education, TV, Dec, 1834, 579. Some of the texts used 
were: Comstock's Philosophy, Adam's Latin Grammar, Valpy's Greek Grammar, 
and Mrs. Marcet's Conversations on Chemistry. Johnstons, "Early Educational 
Life in Middle Georgia," 865. 

103 This was Sparta Academy. Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Geor- 
gia," 862. 


cated, that there is sometimes almost wholly a deficiency of 
the necessary information resulting from those sources, 
when the candidates apply for admission to the College," 
the Senatus Academicus recommended that the academies 
"should be placed more especially under the superintending 
power of the college at Athens."^^* It, therefore, requested 
the University authorities to prescribe a curriculum for all 
academies receiving state aid "to be used preparatory to ad- 
mission into college. "^°^ An elaborate course was prepared, 
which was never adopted by a majority of the schools.^**^ 

The large majority of the academies undoubtedly had 
scanty libraries if any. The value of a library, however, 
was generally recognized and the success in securing books 
was often announced. In 1819 the Powellton Academy 
promised that a "respectable Library will be procured, 
and attached to the institution before the commencement of 
the next term.''^^^'^ In the preceeding year the Milledgeville 
Academy announced that it had secured a "permanent sup- 
ply of books for the various classes — the same as are used 
in the most celebrated and successful Northern sem- 

The school term was generally divided into two parts, with 
annual examinations and the "exhibition" in the latter part 
of December and the semi-annual exercises in June. These 
were the two big occasions in school when the public v/as 
invited to come to judge and enjoy. A "board of visitors" 
always made a report to the public after these exercises, in- 
variably praising in glowing words the success of the 
school. 10^ Discipline received strict and steady attention. 

»o* Minutes of the Senatus Academicus. 1799-1842, Nov. 14, 1827, pp. 192-194. 

•OS Ibid., Nov. 10, 1828, pp. 197, 198. 

lOG This was the course of study prescribed : "Murray's English Grammar ; Arith- 
metic to the end of the cube root Ruddimans Rudiments Cordesiua 50 
collogues at least Erasmus at least one half Cornalius, Nepos, to Allicus 
Caesar's Commentaries, 6 books Cicero's Orations at least 9 to be read 
Virgil, The Bucolics, Georgics, and 6 books of the Aeneid Main or Clark, in- 
troduction to making of Latin Wettenhalls Greek Grammar The Greek Tes- 
tament at least through John and the Acts Graeca Minerva to the end of the 
dialogues." Minutes of the Senatus Academicus, 1799-18^2, Nov. 10, 1828, pp. 

•0' Announcement in Georgia Journal, Dec. 7, 1819. 

»•• Announcement ibid., Jan. 10, 1818. 

»"* Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 866; Georgia, Journal, 
passim. In announcing its semi-annual exercises, Eatonton Academy added, 
"Parents and guardians and the public generally are invited to attend." IbtdL, 
Dec. 5, 1820. 


Some of the most lasting impressions of many a graduate of 
these old academies were made by the discipline meted 
out."° Some schools built up a special reputation on their 
strictness and rigidity along this line. Mount Zion Academy 
was intrusted with the remaking of many sons whose 
fathers had dispaired of managing them.^^^ At Eatonton 
Academy, according to announcements in 1820, "the Trus- 
tees will vouch for the strictest discipline and subordination 
in school."ii2 

As reason would seem to dictate, most of the academies 
were located in towns, where they played an important part 
in the town life generally. This was especially true of the 
larger academies, whose student bodies in some instances 
were as large as the rest of the population of the town com- 
bined, white and black. Boys and girls came to school from 
the country three and four miles distant, on foot, on horse- 
back, and some in "Jersey wagons."^^^ Often the more 
wealthy planters at great expense would build or buy homes 
in the towns where good academies were located, and would 
move their families in during the school term.^^^ Many 
boarding students also attended. For various reasons some 
academies were located in the country. Hermon Seminary 
was founded at a cross-roads, where acre lots were laid out, 
some to be occupied by school buildings, and others to be 
used by "respectable families" for erecting homes to take 
care of boarders. In announcing this departure from the 
usual, the authorities said this was "a retired and healthy 
spot, and removed from the dissipation and vices which 
abound in some of our villages.'*^^^ 

Expenses varied with the times and the academies. At the 
beginning of the nineteenth century, Columbia Academy 
charged ten dollars annually for teaching English, Writing 
and Arithmetic ; fifteen dollars for Science ; and twenty dol- 

»!<» In many of the academies school began at 8 o'clock in the morning and ended 
about 5 or 6 o'clock in the afternoon. See W. A. Clark, A Lost Arcadia or the 
Story of My Old Community (Augusta, 1909), 125-137. 

^^*^ Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 95. 

"* Georgia Journal, Dec. 5, 1820. 

^^^ Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 97. 

'*•* Ibid.; Rebeca L. Felton, Country Life in Georgia in the Days of My Youth 
(Atlanat, 1919), 60, 61. 

«»s Georgia Journal, March 6, 1821. 


lars for the languages. The same school announced that 
"Boarding, washing and lodging, may be obtained in the 
neighborhood of the academy for seven dollars a month."i^® 
Later in the century, tuition ranged from eight to sixteen 
dollars the term, with board and lodging from eight to ten 
dollars a month. One hundred dollars would ordinarily pay 
all expenses for a year.^^'^ Powellton Academy charged one- 
half the regular tuition rates for children of clergymen.i^^ 

Educational conditions were at no time satisfactory in 
the state; nor were the plans for aiding education above 
constant criticism. The editor of the Georgia Journal 
declared that the "system of public education now pursued 
in this state, is defective and cannot meet the intentions of 
the legislature and of those citizens who sincerely wish 
knowledge to be widely dessiminated throughout the land." 
Continuing, he said, "Most of the academies are in a wretch- 
ed condition, and the poor schools worse than useless, by 
the mismanagement of those who have hitherto had their 
superintendenc."^^^ Reports were rquired from all acad- 
emies receiving state aid ; but it was found next to impos- 
sible to procure them. The law cutting off all further aid 
from those schools failing to make these reports seems to 
hav availed little.120 

In actual working there was no real school system. Dur- 
ing most of the period the state made no effort to establish 
schools; nor did it assume direct control over those which 
did exist. It merely possessed a "poor school fund" from 
which it reimbursed those schools which instructed "poor 
children," and an "academic fund" which yielded small 
amounts to the academies. Neither elementary schools nor 
academies were state schools.121 In fact there were many 
schools which received no aid from the state at all. Some 
academies, when incorporated, were specifically excluded 

"« Auguata Chronicle, Oct. 5, 1799; May 30, 1801. 

"' Johnston, "Early Educational Life in Middle Georgia," 860. 

"« Georgia Journal, Dec. 8, 1818. 

"• Ibid., Sept, 12, 1829. 

'*• Reports were required to include the following: number and salaries of instruc- 
tors, number of students, annual income, and branches of learning taught. 
Prince, Digeat. 24. 28. 

121 For the decision that academies were private schools see 3 Kelly, 388. 


from state aid, as Corinth Academy in Heard County.^22 
The legislature in a resolution in 1820 expressed its appre- 
ciation of the purely private schools as follows : "That it is 
the wish of the people (to advance education) is incontro- 
vertible, when we take into view the individual exertion ex- 
ercised in the establishment of so great a number of respect- 
able schools in different parts of the State, without the 
smallest aid or patronage from the government. The ex- 
ample set by the citizens of some of the counties of this 
State, to promote schools are in the opinion 0$ your commit- 
tee worthy of the imitation of all, whether in public or in 
private situations."^23 

The academy funds early fell into gross mismanagement. 
Distributions were very unequal, and some academies enti- 
tled to money received none at all.124 j^ some instances per- 
sons entrusted with the endowment funds and yearly dis- 
tributions kept the money for their own uses. Seeking to 
remedy this, the legislature passed a law requiring all such 
persons to pay 20% per annum on all moneys withheld.125 
The committee on education declared in 1828 that reports 
from academies were so haphazard that it was difficult to give 
"any correct conclusion as to their real state and condition" ; 
but one fact was established "that, with some honorable ex- 
ceptions, there had been great waste and misapplication of 
funds.^26 As time went on, conditions seem to have be- 
come no better, as the charge is later made that the fund 
was "squandered away without a proper accountability from 
those who have the management of these means.^^^'r With 
all the mismanagement of funds, the committee on education 
deplored "the apparent want of munificence on the part of 
the Legislature, the assumed guardians of the literary char- 
acter of the State."i28 

'=» Prince, Digest, 949, 950. 

'23 Ibid., 882. 

i=* Prince, Digest, 27. (Nov. 10, 1818, p. 135.) 

*^5 IbicL, 21, 22. Minutes of the Senatus Academicus, 1799-1842. 

'-" Ibid., 28. 

^"^ Editorial in Georgia Journal, Sept. 12, 1829. In 1836 the Committee on education 
reported that "from all information before your committee, there is ^reat im- 
perfection apparent in this system of education, and great laxity in the disburse- 
ment of this fund, calling' for a thorough reformation." Prince, Digest, 29. 

»2»» Georgia Journal, Jan. 1, 1828. 


Apart from theory, there was neither system within the 
fields of education nor among them. The college, the acad- 
emy, and the poor school were not, in fact, coordinated or 
connected in any way. The funds for each were in different 
hands, with lax accounting and strong rivalry. The editor 
of the Georgia Journal declared that the "commissioners of 
academies conceive that the prosperity of their establish- 
ments is separate and disinct from that of the poor schools ; 
and the trustees of the poor schools conceive that the acade- 
mies are obstacles to the prosperity of their establish- 
ments."i29 xhe University had its adherents who would pros- 
per it at the expense of the other two branches. The same, 
mutatis mutandis, was true of the others. Some argued 
that "Education must descend" ; and therefore the Univer- 
sity should receive first attention. It was charged that the 
academy fund was "worse than useless," and the recommen- 
dation was made that "instead of squandering the State's 
funds on county Academies . . . the energies and the funds 
of the State should be directed to the support of the Col- 
lege."i3<* This recommendation brought the charge from a 
friend of the academies that these "attacks on county Acad- 
emies have been to break them down, for the purpose of 
raising the college." "I am willing the college should rise," 
he continued, "and believe there should be more done for 
it than has been ; but I do not wish it done at the expense of 
the Academies."!^^ 

Most governors were conscious of the deplorable condi- 
tions and expressed their desire for something better; but 
few were aggressive enough to urge new plans. Governor 
Lumpkin declared in 1833 that "we have experimented long 
enough upon our present system of Academic and Poor 
School education ; and that we should no longer be contented 
with acknowledging existing imperfections, but that we 
should at once, attempt an entire renovation of the sys- 
tem." 1^2 The state had just succeeded by a close margin in 

"» Oct. 10, 1829. 
"w Georgia Journal, Feb. 18, 1830. 
»»* Communication to Georgia Journal, May 15, 1830. 

"* Annual Message to the legislature, November 5, 1833, in Georgia Journal, Not. 
6, 1883. 


resisting the nullification heresies so insiduously urged by- 
South Carolina ; and the governor reiterated his belief that 
the "conservative influence of education is greatly needed 
in our State."i33 

The necessity of a stabilizing influence was, indeed, sadly 
lacking. A speaker at the teachers' meeting in Milledgeville 
in 1831 exclaimed : "But how many sons of free born Amer- 
icans are unable to read their native language! How many 
go to the polls who are unable to read the very charter of 
their liberties I"^^^ The committee on education in the same 
year summed up a condition that was by no means peculiar 
to Georgia : "Divines have deprecated the use of mere human 
learning in their novitiates — physicians sneered at by their 
fellows, because they were Chemists and Zoologists — Law- 
yers less patronized because they were scholars — Mer- 
chants who refused liberally educated men as clerks; and 
parents who have prohibited the study of ancient languages 
and Mathematics to boys intended for the counting- 

Despite the lack of energy and vigor necessary to push 
through reform, one plan or another was being constantly 
agitated. Some believed there was a tendency to "manufac- 
ture" too many academies, at the behest of men with mer- 
cenary designs. Adiel Sherwood wanted no more charters 
granted "unless it be a sine qua non that in such academy 
there shall be taught, at least a part of the year, the learned 
languages and higher branches of the mathematics. Decep- 
tion enough has been practiced in manufacturing academies, 
as they are called, to get money from the treasury. When 
establishd, they have no better claim to pecuniary aid than 
any other school; they draw money merely because they 
have trustees, and are incorporated.^^^e Jefferson Academy 
was by special law compelled to teach the Classics before it 
could participate in the Academic Fund.^^'^ Apart from the 

133 Georgia Journal, Nov. 6, 18333. 

"* American Annals of Education, III, Dec. 1833, 562. 

>3s Cuthbert, Digest, 208. 

"• Sherwood, Gazetteer, 321. 

»•■"' Cobb, Digest, 1194, 


standing of the school as an academy, it was believed that 
the fund was dissipated among too large a number of acad- 
emies for any one to receive benefits of any consequence. 
Rather by "doing something considerable for a moderate 
number of institutions, the state will be more effectively 
served and literature more substantially aided than by serv- 
ing ten or twelve times the number with small portions."^^^ 
In her quest for better schools, the state resorted to many 
devises to stir up interest and formulate plans. In 1820 the 
school laws of South Carolina were published in the Geor- 
gia press, in an effort to arouse intrest in education.^^^ 
In 1831 the committee on education recommended the ap- 
pointment of a committee "to form a system of academic 
and poor school institutions as nearly uniform as practicable 
throughout the state.''^^® This move came to nothing as 
the governor was unable to find onyone interested and at the 
same time competent.^^i Another effort at reform was 
made in 1836, which bid fair to produce far-reaching results. 
One-third of Georgia's part of the Surplus Revenue received 
from the United States was to be set apart as a "Free School 
and Education Fund" available for schools that were to be 
set up by the future action of the legislature. In order to 
determine what this system should be, a committee was 
appointed "to digest a plan of common school education, 
best adapted to the genius, habits, of life and of thought of 
the people of Georgia" and report to the next session of the 
General Assembly. It was the duty of this committee to 
appoint a sub-committee whose duty it should be to visit the 
different states of the Union to study the elementary 
scjhools and to correspond with European countries to find out 
the best there.^^^ jj^ j^q^ semed that the state was on 
the verge of a great awakening. The committee reported a 
system of common schools very similar to what was to be 
found in the Middle and Eastern states. In 1837 the first 
common school system of the state was adopted, by which 

>38 Correspondence in Georgia Journal, Oct. 10, 1821. 

"9 Ibiil., Auk. 22, 1820 ; Prince, Digest. 28, 29. 

•*• Cuthbert, Digest, 211. 

'** Columbtts Enquirer, Nov. 13, 1832. 

'*« Prince, Digest, 26, 27. 


all children were educated alike at the expense of the state. 
The Academic and Poor school funds were combined for this 
purpose. With this enlarged fund, together with the Sur- 
plus Revenue allotment, Georgia hoped to carry on a state 
system of common schools, free from the stigma going with 
poor schools. But according to the governor these funds 
were wholly inadequate, and the state was about as far 
from a solution of its educational problems as ever.^^^ As 
a result, in 1840, the state went back to the old system of 
poor schools, to labor along until almost the eve of the Civil 
War, when a change in the whole educational system was 
effected, which would undoubtedly have produced pro- 
found and far-reaching results had warfare stayed its 
course. The first part of this legislation came in December 
of 1858 and effected a revolution in elementary education. 
The besetting trouble throughout the past history of the 
state had been a chronic lack of money for schools. By this 
enactment $100,000 from the net earnings of the Western 
and Atlantic Railway was set aside annually for the "ele- 
mentary branches of education." Also, all surplus in the 
state treasury at the end of each fiscal year after the current 
expenses of the state had been paid was added to this school 
fund. As if this liberality would not make up for her past 
niggardly course the state provided that as the public debt 
should be paid off replacement bonds in equal amounts 
should be issued and added to the school .fund.^^^ The Civil 
War prevented Georgia from reaping the benefits from this 
excellently endowed educational system. 

In 1859 a further change was made resulting in the abol- 
ition of the Senatus Academicus, a body which had never 
displayed the energy and leadership that the founders of 
the University system had hoped for. Its duties were trans- 
ferred to the trustees of the University. The law abolishing 
this body stated that "Experience has shown that the body 
known as the Senatus Academicus, on account of the hur- 

J^a Georgia Journal, March 26, 1839; Cobb, Digest, 4. In 1842, Governor Chas. J. 
McDonald declared that the school fund would scarcely buy paper, pencils and 
books for the pupils. He advocated the establishment of a central school where 
poor students should be educated, who should then go back to their counties to 
teach. Southern Banner, Nov. 18, 1842. 

«*■• Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, passed in , . . 1868, 49-51. 


ried manner in which its sessions are generally held, has a 
tendency to defeat, rather than promote the objects for 
which it is designed."!*^ 

The academies in ante-bellum Georgia played an impor- 
tant part in the state's history. Some of these schools came 
to be almost as famous as any of their day. In numbers 
Georgia stood well toward the top of the states of the 
Union. ^^6 But the academy was not the school for the poor. 
Indeed, the elementary school did not successfully reach 
this class. However, these old academies under such mas- 
ters as Waddel, Mercer, Church, and other educators eminent 
in their day, played an important part in the development 
of the leadership of the state, a leadership which for a time 
all but ruled the nation. 

Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, passed in . . . 1859, 26, 27. 
In numbers of academies, Georgia was exceeded by only three states in the North, 
and by five in the South ; in numbers of students in academies she stood third in 
the South. Census 1850. Statistic of the United States. 


Howell Cobb Papers 

Edited by R. P. BROOKS, Ph.D. 
University of Georgia 


Executive Department^ 
Milledgeville, February 2nd, 1852 

I have this day appointed William M. Wadley, Superin- 
tendent of the Western and Atlantic Rail Road. 

The law for the government and management of said 
Road confers upon the Superintendent the power of appoint- 
ing all subordinates with my approval. I have delivered 
to the Superintendent the applications and recommendations 
made to me for these various offices, and have communi- 
cated to him my recommendations on these points. 

Subordinates and discipline being indispensable to the 
proper management of this important work it is necessary 
that all subordinates on the Road should know and under- 
stand at the outset that they hold their offices by the ap- 
pointment, and at the will of the Superintendent, and that 
I shall entertain no appeal from his decision, on questions 
of removal of subordinates. I shall look to the Superin- 
tendent for the faithful discharge by his subordinates of 
their respective duties, and for that reason, I give him un- 
limited power over them. I desire that this communication 
should be made to all persons, who are now or may hereafter 
be appointed by the Superintendent. 

1 Presumably a circular addressed to employees of the Western and Atlantic Railroad 
B Executive Minutes. 1849-1865. p. 324. 



Executive Department^ 

Milledgeville, 6th Feby. 1852 
Dear Sir: — 

You will perceive by the papers, that our loan was nego- 
tiated at a premium of from ll^ to 5% per centum — aver- 
aging 2 per cent on the whole amount. As a matter of 
course, you obtained more of it, at your bid. 

I have now to negotiate five hundred and twenty-five 
thousand dollars, of similar bond bearing an interest of six 
per cent and running for twenty years, unconditionally. My 
purpose is to negotiate these Bonds by the 1st of July and 
for them to bear date on that day. The law leaves it dis- 
cretionary with me to make them (both principal and in- 
terest) payable at any place in the United States. I desire 
to hear from you on the propriety of making them 
payable in New York — and at the Bank of the Republic. I 
wish to know the advantages to accrue to the State by this 
arrangement in the negotiation of the Bonds, which will 
compensate us, for the trouble and expense of meeting their 
payments at that distance. I can see no advantage of much 
importance to the holder of our Bonds — ^that the principal 
should be payable in New York, though I can understand 
his anxiety for the payment of the Interest there on account 
of the frequency of the latter payments — and should much 
prefer to make the principal payable at the Treasury — and 
the interest payable in New York. Could not the negotia- 
tion be effected without advertising for sealed proposals, as 
the law does not require it? And upon what terms could I 
probably effect the sale of them? I might probably desire 
to negotiate portions of them at different periods — ^what 
effect would that have upon the amount of premiums ? I will 
request of you, to give me all the information upon these 
points — and such others, as may be suggested to your mind 
— ^which it may be important that I should understand, be- 

' A New York banker, formerly of Savannah, Ga. 
* Executive Letter Book, 1847, pp. 219-220. 


fore determining upon my course. There is one fact devel- 
oped in the late bidding, to which I will call your attention — 
and ask your explanation of it. It is this. The bids of our 
own citizens and immediate neighbors were all higher than 
those from New York — now this would indicate that the 
home market, would be the best for our future sales. 

As you may not be accurately advised of the fact, I will 
state to you, that the whole indebtedness of Georgia, iTwhud- 
ing the Bonds I now propose to negotiate, will be only three 
millions and one or two hundred thousand dollars, and we 
own a Rail Road of one hundred and thirty miles — which is 
worth more than that amount — besides the vast resources 
of our State — ^which our last Legislature, by the passage of 
the ad valorem Tax bill, showed their willingness to tax, if 
necessary to meet the liabilities of the State. Why there- 
fore should any bonds sell higher in the market than those 
of Georgia? 


Washington City, March 2, 1852. 

My dear Wife: 

I reached here on yesterday and remain today, and shall 
then leave for New York. One of the Collins line of 
steamers is here, and goes on tomorrow to New York. I 
have been invited to go in her and shall probably do so, as 
it will take about the same time. 

I have been much gratified with the reception I have met, 
from my old friends, it could not have possibly been more 
cordial and I believe they would be willing to make me 
President or anything else. This cordial welcome has been 
gall and wormwood to some of the fire eaters who see in it 
"the handwriting on the wall." I have not yet had time to 
look into matters to see how the political wires are being 
pulled, but I have seen enough to satisfy me that things will 
probably work well for the good and faithful followers of 
true democracy. I have put out a few feelers and already 


see their workings. I cannot yet say how long I shall re- 
main when I return from New York, but probably not more 
than a week 


Executive Department,^ 

Milledgeville, April 7, 1852. 
Dear Sir: 

The enclosed letter from Messrs. Corcoran & Riggs, con- 
tains, as you will see, a bid for our loan, which would real- 
ize to the State 3 per cent, premiums. There is evidently a 
better feeling in the money market for Georgia stock than 
you had expected there would be. The question is now pre- 
sented whether I should negotiate on these terms or wait 
for bids. If the money market should continue favorable, 
it would be best to receive proposals, as there is no reason 
that our stock should be depressed; but an unfavorable 
change may take place and ^occasion a depression in all 
stocks. You can form a better opinion on that point than 
I can, and I wish your opinion upon it. If I could realize for 
the State 4 per cent, premium, I should be disposed to close 
the negotiation promptly, and from the enclosed letter 
of Messrs. Corcoran & Riggs, I believe it can be effected with 
their House. 

I write today to Messrs. Corcoran & Riggs that I cannot 
give them an answer, till I hear from you. In the mean time 
if you can effect the negotiation with them on terms that 
will bring 4 per cent, to the State, over all expense of com- 
mission, etc., I prefer that it should be done. 

I shall be anxious to hear from you, as our proposals 
should be published soon, if that course is deemed best. 

The Bonds will soon be ready and will bear date the 1st 
of July next. 

Executive Letter Book, 1847, 



Madison, Ga., April 11, 1852. 

Dear Sir: 

Having been appointed a delegate from this county to the 
Union Convention to assemble in Milledgeville on the 22nd 
instant, I thought it not improper to drop you a few lines 
giving you my views as to the policy I thought best with 
my reason for the same. And if it was not too much trouble 
I should like to hear from you (which would be confidential 
as a matter of coures if you so desired it) . You are more in- 
terested than anyone that I know of in the proper direction 
being given to things by our friends. If there should be a 
split of the Union party & we are driven to separate from 
the Whig portion at present, it will place a few of you I fear 
in the power of your enemies, because they are willing to 
act in concert with the rank & file & let bye gones be by 
gones. But they are not willing to treat you particularly 
so. Because they look upon you as having headed the re- 
bellion & desertion (as they terms it). And like all men 
they would be willing only to compromise by killing or exil- 
ing the chief leader. That such is their feeling is manifest 
from the continued attacks through their presses at you 
whilst in the same articles their appeals are made to all 
others to unite with them, but it is not alone confined to their 
presses as I find upon conversing with them because they 
speak it out to me on all occasions that they will never 
forgive you, but all others they are willing to act with & 
forget that there ever has been any difference of opinion. 
Such a union on the part of your friends would be discredi- 
table to them and destructive to you because it would be a 
tacit acknowledgement that we were the deserters from 
our cherished principles & not they. That faux pas at the 
opening of Congress in laying the resolution of Mr. Polk's 
on the table was the move that has placed us in the position 
we are in. And I must say it was scandalous treatment on 
the part of the compromise democrats to have placed us in 
the situation they have. The Whig Convention will either 


nominate Mr. Fillmore or General Scott. It is evident from 
every move in the South that Mr. Fillmore will get the 
united vote of the Southern Whigs in their convention & 
with a few scattering votes from the north and west he will 
secure the nomination. And if he does do so, the Whig 
Union men in Georgia almost to a man will vote for him 
& in addition to that he will get a number of union democrats, 
as the feeling ran so high in the last canvass that numbers 
will not be disposed to unite with the Southern Right [s] 
democrats. If General Scott is nominated the Whigs will 
have no hesitancy in voting for the Baltimore nominee and 
especially if any of the men now spoken of is nominated. And 
this opposition is not alone as you know confined to Georgia 
but mostly to the entire South, and the Southern Whigs see 
that if Scott is nominated it will result in a disorganization 
of their party in the South in most of the states, & the 
consequence is they are appealing to their friends at the 
north to relieve them by the nomination of Fillmore, & to 
prevent a destruction of the party South may induce enough 
to vote for Fillmore with the united vote of the Southern 
states & a full delegation to secure his nomination. Then the 
question arises whether it is not the policy of the union dem- 
ocrats to favor the idea of not sending delegates to either 
convention. Because I am satisfied if we push the matter 
at present until they see at least the chances for Fillmore 
is lost a large number will not submit to it & should a 
difficulty occur they will be for sending delegates to Phila- 
delphia, which will at least give Fillmore ten additional 
votes which he would not get otherwise & it may be the 
means of operating & influencing Alabama & Florida & Mis- 
sissippi, which will greatly lessen the chances for Fillmore's 
nomination. It is true I would much prefer Fillmore to 
Scott, but I prefer a democrat to either. Because if we have 
any friends in the free states it is in the democratic party 
& and that is certainly the party that the South ought to 
sustain. As to the policy that might be pursued by Scott if 
elected there would not be a great deal of difference between 
him and Fillmore's policy, because both would be mainly 


under the same influences, & it would be under the influence 
of the northern whigs. But the situation we occupy would 
be much more pleasant with Scott as the nominee than Fill- 
more, and if we can by any honorable means break off the 
Southern Whigs or a considerable portion of them from 
their northern allies, I think we will have greatly benefited 
the country. You are certainly much better posted up than I 
am, being much more conversant in these matters, & like- 
wise with the advantages you have recently had by your 
association with those controlling and directing these mat- 
ters. But I submit the question if it is not a harzardous 
experiment to you & the rest of our friends to urge the 
sending of delegates to Baltimore & especially when it seems 
to meet with so much opposition in the union whig ranks, 
and especially if it should be pushed so far as to cause an 
open rupture in the party. It strikes me it would most cer- 
tainly place us at the mercy of our Southern Rights enemies. 
If the worst comes to the worst & the union whigs will vote 
for the whig nominee, being a democrat and with the rest 
of you I will vote with the Southern Rights democrats for 
the Baltimore nominee, if we cannot make a better arrange- 
ment. But I would prefer to see Scott nominated and the 
whole union party voting as a party for the Baltimore nomi- 
nee. I am instructed to not favor the policy of sending dele- 
gates to either convention, and with the lights before me I 
think it the best course & the safest for us. But I am not very 
tenacious of my opinions. If I can see that I am v/rong I am 
willing to yield. I am not looking forward for any promo- 
tion. But I feel an interest in my friends & am willing to 
shape my course to benefit them if I can do so without a 
sacrifice of principle. If it is not taxing you too much I 
should like to hear from you as to the course you think for 
the best for our friends. I am in hopes I may not weary you 
in reading this lengthy epistle, and I fear uninteresting let- 
ter, but I feel an anxiety more particularly that you should 
not be injured by the course you have pursued than anyone 
else. Because I am satisfied that you were right and that it 
was the true policy. If you have any hopes of a nomination 


yourself, or desire anything in which I can benefit you, you 
are aware you can command my help. And if you think 
there is any prospect say so and I will favor your plans so far 
as I am able to do so. 


Savannah, Ga., April 29, 1852. 

My dear Sir: 

The division in the democratic party in this state, is, and 
has been, a source of deep regret to me ; and I may refer to 
John E. Ward,^ and others in proof of the assertion, that 
I have, so far as in me lay, thrown oil upon the troubled 
waters and sought to reconcile these differences. With these 
remarks, I approach the object of my letter. The recent 
appointment, by a few gentlemen assembled at Milledgeville, 
of delegates to Baltimore under the style of Union demo- 
crats^ with special instructions, has caused me much reflec- 
tion and uneasiness.2 I have a strong desire that the entire 
democracy of this state, should be represented at Baltimore, 
but, will the Union democratic representatives be admitted 
in the convention under the circumstances ; and if admitted, 
will it not be a precedent pregnant with dangerous results. 
I know you are in favor of their admission, and therefore in 
thus approaching you, I, at once shew my own sincerity, and 
confidence in you. I desire to state the difficulties that press 
on my mind : In the first place who created the Milledgeville 
Convention; what primary assemblies of the people ap- 
pointed its members, their representatives; and what por- 
tion of the people, or what party are they authorized to 
bind ? It was clearly, a self constituted body. Now can del- 

» John E. Ward, of Savannah, President of the Democratic Convention at Cincin- 
nati, 1856. 

* The Constitutional Union party held its Convention at Milledgeville, Ga., April 
22 and 23. The principal question was whether or not the party should send dele- 
gates to the Baltimore National Democratic Convention. The Whig wing of the party 
declined to concur in the wishes of the Democratic wing to send a representation; 
whereupon the convention adjourned without taking action. The Democratic members 
of the party then held another meeting and appointed delegates. The Constitutional 
Union party was a fusion of Whigs and Union Democrats effected in 1850 to work 
for the Compromise of 1850. The organization was disrupted because of disagree- 
^J}^ between the two wings over issues arising in the presidential campaign of 
1852. For a connected account of events, see R. P. Brooks, Howell Cobb and the 
Crisis of 1850, in Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. IV, No. 3. 


egates from such a body, not only claim admission into the 
National Democratic Convention, but in advance point out 
a course which the Convention mttst pursue, or its action 
will not be binding on them. I might amplify on this point, 
and adduce numberless instances, where both in religion, 
and politics the destiny of a sect, or party, or perhaps more 
properly speaking, its action, might be controlled by the 
admission of just such delegates into its counsels. These 
are some of the difficulties that weigh heavily on me, and 
I write to you, not as a partisan, but as one anxious to re- 
move all difficulties, and to make our paths, "the paths of 
pleasantness and peace." My own experinece has been that 
in no free country, can a third party exist for any length of 
time, though it may temporarily control the balance of 
power. The Constitutional Union party, therefore, having 
fulfilled its destiny by directing the action of the State, & 
binding its citizens on the great question of the Compromise, 
is virtually functus officio. All the candidates of the demo- 
cratic party are sound upon the Compromise and particular- 
ly the fugitive slave law. What more should Southern men 
desire. It is however, well known that the National democ- 
racy, as a whole, is more reliable upon the Slavery question, 
than the Whigs, though there are many individual demo- 
crats perfectly unsound. We therefore, cannot expect unan- 
imity on this question. I am not a man who would bend my 
principles for expediency sake. No man who knows me, 
would so charge me, but I deem it the part of wisdom to 
choose the lesser of two evils. Give me, therefore, the dem- 
ocratic party with much soundness and little rottenness 
rather than the Whig party which like Sodom of old has not 
good men enough to save it from destruction. If therefore 
you destroy the democratic National organization, or divide 
it you open the way for Whig success and all the rottenness 
of Whig rule. 

I repeat, I have written you frankly, and shall be pleased 
to hear from you fully, at an early day. My letter is to be 
strictly private and confidential, and I shall so regard your 



,^ , c^. Rome, Ga., May 26, 1852. 

My dear Sir: 

There is nothing new here in the way of politics, 

many seem disposed to wait & see. I am not one of that 
number. I saw or thought I saw at an early day that the 
Union Party had organized on National Democratic prin- 
ciples & were democrats in everything but the name and 
that an adherence to principle must lead the Union Party of 
Georgia into the National Democratic organization unless 
principles were abandoned by one or the other. The Nation- 
al Democrats from the indications of sentiment as exhibited 
in their Convention stand firm upon their principles and it 
remains to be seen whether or not the Union Party of Geor- 
gia will do the same. The Union Democrats will do so, but 
from recent occurrency I distrust the Union Whigs. Judge 
Wright^ is out openly denouncing Lumpkin^ & yourself; he 
thinks to beat Lumpkin by a Union of Union Whigs & fire 
eaters. Col. Akin^ is in an equivocal position, puts in too 
many ifs & ands, «& saving clauses & talks too much in favor 
of Fillmore. Dr. Miller^ will stand firm & so will Johnson 
and Milner of Cass, and it is my honest judgment & the 
opinion of other good judges that the Democracy of Chero- 
kee^ were never more closely united. Union men and South- 
ern Rights have dismissed their former animosity and seem 
willing to act together cordially, & so the game of the Whig 
Union men will fail, & my prayer is that they may forever 
fail. I mean only those who have endeavored to thwart us 
in our late movement. Stephens and Davis are blotted out 
of my books, and I have waited as long on Toombs, about, 
as I can 

T. W. H. Underwood, of Rome, Ga. In early life a Whig, but later a Democrat 
Member of Congress, 1859-1861. Associate Justice of Supreme Court of Georgia; 
member of President Arthur's tariff commission. 

Augustus R. Wright, of Rome, Ga. Judge of Superior Court, 1842 ; member of 
Congress, 1857-1869. 

John H. Lumpkin, of Rome, Ga. A leading Democrat and close personal friend and 
political ally of Cobb's; member of Congress, 1843-1849 

Warren Akin, of Cartersville, Ga. Presidential Elector on Whig Ticket, 1840 ; 
Defeated as opposition candidate for Governor, 1859 ; member of Confederate States 

Dr. H. V. M. Miller, a leading Whig politician. U. S. Senator for a short time in 
1871. Division Surgeon in C. S. A. 
I. e.. Northwestern Georgia. 



Washington, D. C, June 10, 1852. 
Dear Cobb : 

As your old friend Ritchie^ says "the skies are bright & 
brightening." The "Mutual Insurance Company" have been 
endorsed by the National Democracy — fire eaters have suc- 
cumbed & free soilers have "flunked out," and the present 
prospect is that even the Whigs may take the dose. What- 
ever may become of us we have the satisfaction of seeing 
our principles triumphant & our bitterest opponents in both 
sections of the Union affirming our wisdom, our sagacity, 
and our patriotism. "This is glory enough" for all of our 
labors, had they been ten times as great. You & your friends 
are fully and thoroughly in line, the resolutions of Balto. 
on the Compromise are full, clear, and explicit, no honest 
Compromise man can object to them, & the candidate Genl. 
Pierce, I doubt not from what I can learn of him is a fair, 
great, upright & sound man without the least objection on 
the slavery issue. It is very true that I have but little con- 
fidence in the motives which induced the fire-eaters & free 
soilers to support the platform or the candidate, but the 
country has still the moral benefit of their forced position. 
It is not unlikely that if they miss what they consider their 
share of the spoils that both factions will unite to embarrass 
Pierce's administration should he be elected, but that only 
offers an additional reason for the sound men of the South 
to give him an energetic support. 

The effect of this action with [the] Whig party has been 
very great. They now some of them offer to compromise & 
take the same resolutions, if the Southern Whigs will take 
Scott. I am urging them to stand by "men and principles" 
& not to yield an inch. If the Whig convention nominates 
Scott which now appears the most probable, either with or 
without resolutions, the great mass of the Southern Whigs 
will go into the support of Pierce & we shall have no trouble 
in Georgia or the South, but if they should have sound reso- 

» Thomas Ritchie, editor The Union, leadinp: Democrat newspaper in Washington, 
D. C; 1845-1849. 


lutions, and put up an undoubtedly sound ticket, I fear that 
at the South we shall have much of the old divisions & dis- 
tinctions, to which I am much averse. As a few days will 
tell all it is useless now to speculate, but I congratulate you 
upon the action of the Democracy at Balto. as in any event, 
it offers a sound basis for the union of the South & fully vin- 
dicates yourself & friends. 

As soon as the Balto. Convention acts, I will write you 
fully and perhaps telegraph you to Macon. 

My health is improving nicely. 


[August, 1852] 

The Constiutional Union Party of Georgia was organized 
to maintain the decision of the Georgia Convention of 1850, 
in favor of the finality of the Compromise. That object has 
been accomplished, and the members of the party have the 
satisfaction of realizing the complete triumph of their prin- 
ciples, as exhibited in the action of the two National Con- 
ventions, which recently assembled at Baltimore, and in the 
additional fact, that there now exists in Georgia no organ- 
ized opposition to those principles. Under these circum- 
stances, when the late Union Convention assembled in 
Milledgeville, it was the opinion of a large number of that 
body, that the time had arrived, when there should be a 
peaceful dissolution of the party, in consideration of the 
fact, that the necessity for its existence no longer continued. 
A different policy, however, was adopted under the delusive 
hope that the organization could be continued and its integ- 
rity preserved, by the support of the democratic nominees 
for President and Vice President. The convention had 
scarcely adjourned, when demonstrations of opposition to its 
action by the entire Union Whig Press of the State, indi- 

» From a pamphlet among the Erwin papers. It is undated, but the dissolution of 
the Union Party was announced in August, 1852, some time after the 18th. The 
pamphlet has the following caption : "Address of the Executive Committee to the 
Constitutional Union Party of Georgia." 


cated too clearly that that portion of the party whose sen- 
timents and feelings were made known through these 
channels, were irrconcilably opposed to the decision of the 
Convention, and would never yield even an acquiescence in 
its action. The call for the Convention of the 17th and 18th, 
and the response made to those calls by the Union Whigs 
throughout the State, and in some portions of the State 
approximating unanimity of sentiment among them, were 
well calculated to prepare the public mind for the recent 
action of these bodies. It cannot be disguised that the great 
mass of the whig party, have thus withdrawn themselves 
from the Union organization, and have laid the foundation 
for the re-organization of the whig party in our State, if 
indeed, that result may not be regarded as already consum- 
mated. This state of things leaves the Constitutional Union 
Party in the hands of the Union Democracy and those Union 
Whigs who are determined to give their votes and support to 
the National Democratic nominees. Whether there yet re- 
mains in the organization a majority or not of its original 
members, is a problem we will not attempt to solve. The 
mere expression of a doubt upon that point is sufficient to 
justify the course we have felt it our duty to pursue in the 

The undersigned were appointed an Executive Committee, 
by the late Union Convention, and from their position have 
not been inattentive observers of the events to which we 
have now called the public attention ; nor have we failed to 
inform ourselves, as far as was practicable, of the views and 
opinions of those who still remain true to the action of the 
Union party. In view of these facts, and with the aid of all 
.the lights at our command, we have come to the deliberate 
conclusion that the Constitutional Union Party is virtually 
and practically dissolved; and that its longer continuance 
would be delusive and productive of no good. 

We make no argument, and offer no comment ; but submit 
a plain statement of facts, with an unavoidable conclusion 
necessarily resulting from those facts. 

In anticipation of this state of things, a correspondence 


was opened with members of the Electorial Ticket put forth 
by the late Union Convention, and we feel ourselves author- 
ized and do hereby withdraw that ticket. 

Central Executive Committee. 


Of a Portion of the Executive Committee to the Union Dem- 
ocracy and Union Whigs, friends of Pierce and King. 

In common with the other members of the Executive 
Committee of the Constitutional Union Party, we have form- 
ally announced the dissolution of that party, and withdrawn 
its electoral ticket. This state of things presents an impor- 
tant question for the consideration and decision of the Union 
Democracy of the State, and those Union Whigs who stand 
identified with us in the support of the National Democratic 
Nominees. Determined to give our support to the election 
of Pierce and King and sincerely anxious so to cast our votes 
and exert our influence, as will best insure, not only their 
success in the present election, but the effective support of 
their administration, in the event of their election — a result 
not to be doubted — ^we are now called upon to consider in 
what manner this can be done, most consistent with our 
feelings and principles. It is not for us to decide that ques- 
tion; our official character ceased with the party whose 
organ we had been appointed. But identified in feeling and 
principle with those to whom we make this address, we feel 
anxious that there should be union and cordiality of action, 
in whatever course may be adopted. Indeed, this is neces- 
sary to give power and efficiency to our action. To secure 
the vote of Georgia to Pierce and King, over all opposition 


arrayed against them is the paramount consideration. There 
can be no doubt that a very decided majority of the people 
are agreed in the necessity and propriety of so casting the 
vote of the State. But it cannot be disguised that there ex- 
exist difficulties in the way of a warm and cordial co-opera- 
tion of all the friends of Pierce and King, which threaten to 
weaken their strength, and lessen the moral power and influ- 
ence which, under other circumstances, would be attained 
by united action. We do not regard these difficulties as in- 
superable, however formidable they may appear at the first 
glance. They will be found to grow smaller and less obsti- 
nate, as approached in the spirit of true patriotism and 
devotion to the great end sought to be accomplished. 

We now appeal to the Union Democracy and those Union 
Whigs, who are for Pierce and King, to meet together in coun- 
cil, and there determine, in the spirit which we have sought 
to invoke, what ought to be, and shall be, our future course 
of policy. We suggest and propose that this meeting shall 
take place at Atlanta, ON SATURDAY THE 18TH OF 

It will not be necessary to go through with the formality 
of county meetings. We doubt not that a sufficient number 
of our friends can be assembled there at that time, from the 
different sections of the State, familiar with the sentiments 
of the people on the subject, and as fully empowered to speak 
for them as they would be, if appointed by a county meet- 
ing, composed, as is usually the case, of a very few persons 
compared with the voters of the county who favor the move- 

By the time that this proposed meeting shall assemble we 
shall know in what spirit our movements for conciliation 
and compromise will be received by the friends and suppor- 
ters of the Electoral Ticket now in the field. It will afford 
to them an opportunity of their meeting with our friends, 
either through the rcognized organ of their party, or other- 
wise, and uniting, if needs be, in a common council, to effect 
a common end equally desirable to all sincere friends of the 
cause we are seeking to advance. 


In any event, it is due to ourselves and to the success of 
our principles, and due to the position which we occupy be- 
fore the country, that we should come together and deter- 
mine upon such a line of policy as will most cordially unite 
our friends, and most certainly give advancement to our 



Senate Chamber 

August 17th 1852 

Governor Cobb instructs me to say, that believing from 
your letter to me, that the Resolution^ of the Legislature of 
Georgia can be carried out, without the entire removal from 
the Monument, of the stone sent on by the late Governor 
Townes, he now desires that you will cause to be erased from 
that stone the words, ''The Constitution as it is— the Union 
as it was' '—if that can be done, without defacing in any 
way, the Arms, and Motto of the State of Georgia, inscribed 
thereon. If such erasure cannot be made without injury to 
the arms of Georgia, he asks that the whole stone be re- 
moved, and he will cause another to be furnished. The ex- 
pense of complying with this request he desires to be made 
known to him, that it may be defrayed by the State of 

Copied from Executive Minutes, 1849-55, pp. 363-4. 

"Whereas, Information has been received by the Members 
of this House, and is believed to be correct, that a block of 
marble was transmitted to the Washington Monument, by 
the late Governor of this State, as a donation from the State 

» Whittlesy was the general agent of the Washington National Monument. 
' The resolution reads as follows: (copy attached). 


of Georgia, under and by virtue of a Resolution passed by 
the General Assembly, February, 1850, and that his Excel- 
lency caused to be inscribed upon the said block of marble, 
the following words : "The Constitution as it is. The Union 
as it was." And whereas, the said inscription does not truly 
express the sentiments of the people of Georgia, and is 
deemed an underserving tribute to the memory of the Father 
of his country — 

Be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives, That the Governor be and he is hereby authorized 
and requested to withdraw the said block of marble from 
the Washington Monument, and to cause another to be pre- 
pared of Georgia Marble, and to have inscribed thereon the 
Arms of the State of Georgia, and to have the same con- 
veyed to Washington City, and placed at the disposal of the 
Building Committee of the National Monument to the Mem- 
ory of Washington." 

Copied from the Senate Journal, 1851, p. 335. 


Richmond, Va., Aug. 23, 1852. 
My dear Cobb: 

I have your glooming letter of the 19th. I am truly glad 
that you are not disheartened ; that you will triumph I have 
no doubt, and that all will result in good is equally clear to 
my mind. I should feel very much mortified if Georgia 
should be lost to our candidates. I am anxious to have the 
South, in one unbroken column for Pierce and King. The 
result in North Carolina is glorious and the moral effect of 
that triumph will be tremendous. I may deceive myself, but 
I think the election of Pierce and King is as certain as any 
future event. Nothing but over confidence can injure us. 
There is one thing I regret you did not say in your letter ; 
you did not give me your opinion of the result in your state ; 
it is regarded here as certain beyond all contingences for 
Pierce and King. If there should be no election by the peo- 
ple do you know what the vote would be in the Legislature? 


or is it in doubt? Everything this way looks well. I have 
just returned from New York and the aspect of affairs are 
as when you were there. All sorts of odds are offered in 
favor of our ticket, besides Botts ^ is certain of Scotf^ 
election. Anyone will bet against BoWs predictions, he is 
on a tour over the mountains. He says that Scott will carry 
Virginia, and I say we will give Pierce and King 20,000 ma- 
jority at least. My opinion is that we can elect our candi- 
dates without either of the three states of Ohio, Penn. or 
New York. There is a total lack of excitement among the 
Whigs — ^The contrast between this canvass & that of 1848 
is marked and decided. No one who went over the country 
in 1848 and 1852 can fail to discover the very great differ- 
ence. I wish you would keep me informed of affairs that 
effect you personally, either by letter or papers. I have not 
seen your letter referred to, altho I have seen it alluded to. 
My wishes for your success is stronger than any other 
man's in this country, and of course everything that effects, 
you is interesting to your sincere friend. 


Athens, Ga., Sept. 16, 1852. 
Dear Sir: 

I herewith enclose you an extract from an editorial of the 
Columbus (Ga.,) Times of the 7th inst., which shews that 
at the time the Southern Rights Convention in this state 
was called for the purpose of nominating a Presidential elec- 
toral ticket, the leaders who got up the movement did not 
desire the Union democrats to participate in the nomination. 
It was, therefore, not made in good faith by their own 
acknowledgement, but at a time when they calculated also 
with "mathematical certainty" that we would not attend 
the convntion. This confession may be made to tell with 
great effect in the contingency that a compromise ticket 
shall be refused by the other wing of the party. I request 

1 John M. Botts. member of Congress from Virginia, 1839-43 ; 1847-1849. 


you to preserve this extract so that it can be returned to me 
for reference, if necessary in the future. 

It is to be hoped, however, that a re-union of the demo- 
cratic party upon the principle of mutual concession may 
take place at Atlanta, and prevent the necessity of referring 
to the past. In addition to the intelligence received by you 
on Wednesday evening last, that Mr. Gardner^ had called 
a meeting of the Southern Rights Executive Committee at 
Atlanta on Saturday next, I have now to state the substance 
of a conversation with Mr. Wm. L. MitchelP this morning in 
relation to the same subject. He stated to me that he had 
sent a proxy to Gardner to represent him at Atlanta, in 
order to secure a quorum of the committee so that they 
might be enabled to act. Upon my remarking that I thought 
an amicable arrangement of the ticket would be made, he 
replied that he believed "the right spirit pervaded the exec- 
utive committe on his side." The call of their committee to 
meet at Atlanta — the pains taken to secure a quorum by 
proxy in order to enable them to act — the spirit manifested 
in the conversation above alluded to — all demonstrate be- 
yond a doubt that the ticket can now be arranged, provided 
our friends present a solid and unbroken phalanx in demand- 
ing it as a sine qua non to re-union. Any division of conse- 
quence in our ranks, will soon be detected by the Argus eyes 
of the committe on the other side, and prevent the desired 
consummation. Firmness and unanimity among our friends, 
manifested indeed in a kind and conciliatory manner, will 
bear us out triumphantly in the great work of re-union. 
Already has the great point been gained of concentrating 
at Atlanta all the necessary elements of pacification. Both 
divisions of the party will be there in council, and if peace 
upon the ground of mutual participation in the ticket, shall 
not be the result, the responsibility will rest on the other 
side. They will undoubtedly attempt to convince us that we 
ought to yield our support to their ticket. But as they are 
invited by the letter of our executive committee to a work of 

» James R. Gardner, editor of the (Augusta) Constitutionalist, a leading Southern 

Rights organ. 
* Wm. L. Mitchell, a Whig, but a prominent disunion ist on the issues of 1850. 


** conciliation and compromise/* if they finally refuse to meet 
us on that ground, they will lose caste before the country. 

In a word our friends have only to be firm and united in 
their position in favor of a compromise ticket, and they 
will either prevail or have the morale of the Atlanta meet- 
ing entirely in their favor.^ 

Do me the favor of stating my position on this question 
to our friends. I cannot support the present ticket as it 
stands. It must be remodeled to secure my co-operation. 

P. S. Neither Mitchell nor myself will be at Atlanta. 


Lawrenceville, [Ga.], Sept. 17th, 1852. 
My dear Cousin: 

It is out of the question for me to be at Atlanta tomorrow. 
I cannot get through my business here in time. 

My decided opinion is against putting up any ticket of 
our own. It would be suicidal policy in any way in which I 
can view it, & if I were at Atlanta I would earnestly oppose 
such a policy. 

My opinion is that all Democrats who may be in Atlanta 
should act together and appoint a committee to write an 
address to the friends of Pierce and King in the state, the 
leading idea of which address should be "everything for 
the cause, nothing for men." We must disarm the factious 
spirit of opposition on the part of our foes, not by a similar 
course of faction, but by true devotion to principles. 

I should also appoint a committee to unite with the Exec- 
utive Committee of the present organization in the call of 
a mass meeting when & where they pleased & submit the 
question of a modification of the ticket to the entire party 
so assembled and resolve to run the present ticket modified 

A The reconciliation meeting was duly held in Atlanta in September, but came to 
nothing, as the Southern Rights or radical element of the Democratic Party refused 
to make any concessions to the Unionist Democrats. 

1 James Jackson, a prominent Unionist Democrat and strong supporter of Cobb, of 
whom he was the law partner after 1865. Judge of Superior Court, 1846-1859: 
member of Congress, 1857-1861 ; Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Georgia, 1879- 


or not if a majority, so assembled declared in favor of such 
a policy .2 

This course will strengthen us with the masses with whom 
we must act in future. 

These people have the advantage of us now because the 
National Convention endorsed their organization. We must 
look to the future and shape our policy accordingly. 

A meeting was held here on Wednesday of which Hutchins 
was chairman & resolutions for harmony were adopted by 
all present, both wings being represented. 

I beg you by all means to do nothing looking to a separate 
organization & factious fight. We can make nothing out of 
it, & may lose all. 


Washington, [D. C], December 12, 1852. 
Dear Cobb : 

I have just read yours of the 7th inst. I have been think- 
ing for several days past of writing to you, but, really, have 
not had anything to write about. I hear but precious little 
said as to what Genl. Pierce will [do] in the way of Cabinet 
making. And what little I do hear is mere suggestion, spec- 
ulation or opinion, the offspring doubtless in most cases of 
the wishes of those who give utterance to them. Genl. 
Peaslee has been here from the commencement of the ses- 
sion, but I do not think that he knows what is to be done. 
Hibbard arrived today, I have not seen him, but suppose 
he knows just as little. I think it not at all unreasonable to 
suppose that General Pierce does not know what he will do 
himself. If he does, and is the man I supposed him to be 
he will at least have the prudence to keep his own counsels. 
He at least will save himself a world of trouble and harrass- 

After the disruption of the Constitutional Party earlier in the year, an effort was 
made to reconcile the unionist and radical wings of the Democratic Party, which 
would involve the withdrawal of one of the two Pierce and King electoral tickets. 
TThe unionists were eager to effect the reconciliation, but the radicals had managed 
to manoeuver themselves into the position of sole regularity and refused to merge 
the two tickets by giving some of the places to the unionist candidates. After the 
Atlanta meeting of September 18, the unionists formally withdrew their ticket, but 
later a section of this element put out another ticket which polled about 6,000 votea. 
The radical ticket received about 39,000 votes. 


ment by so doing. There are those however who profess 
to [know] exactly what he will do and who will [be] ap- 
pointed or rather invited to positions in the Cabinet. Grund 
knows that either Caleb Cushing or John A. Dix will be in- 
vited to the State Department, while some I understand 
assert positively that whatever else has been or shall be 
done it is settled that Mr. Buchanan is to be Secretary of 
State and has been so advised. That there will be strong 
efforts made to prevent the appointment of any Union Dem- 
ocrat from the South to the head of the Department I do not 
doubt. But such efforts I feel must be abortive. General 
Pierce has too much good sense and understands the history 
and positions of men, factions and parties all over the coun- 
try to adopt so suicidal a policy. In what does he differ 
from the Compromise Union Democrats of the South. If I 
understand him there is not one iota of difference. His po- 
sition as I understand it is your and mine. And it is to the 
fact that it is so that he is indebted for his election and 
present position. But for the Union Democrats of the South 
there would have been no National Democratic party to 
have supported and elected Pierce President. And they are 
this day his truest and best, if not his only reliable friends 
in the South. And should he abandon them or exclude them 
from his confidence and counsels, he will find before the 
close of his administration that he had committed a fatal 



The Free Negro in Maryland, 163^-1860. By James M. 
Wright, Ph.D. [Columbia University Studies in History, 
Economics and Public Law, Vol. XCVII, No. 3] . (New York : 
Columbia University, 1921. pp. 362). 

So numerous, so important, and so complex were the prob- 
lems arising out of negro slavery that one important accom- 
paniment of the slave system has been given comparatively 
little attention by most investigators. What to do with the 
free negro was a question, the solution of which inevitably 
presented many difficulties in any state or community where 
both slaves and free negroes existed 1h considerable num- 
bers. In Maryland, more than in most of the other slave- 
holding states, the embarrassments of the free negro prob- 
lem were many and puzzling. Dr. Wright has made this 
side-issue of slavery the theme of arduous research in news- 
papers, public documents and records, reports of conventions 
and committees, wills, deeds, and other important source 
material. A bibliography of fifteen pages enumerates these 
sources, together with many investigations of other writers 
on slavery and the negro. 

Unfortunately there is no index. The reviewer has for- 
gotten who it was who said that an index to a book is un- 
necessary, for if a reader has not sufficient intelligence to 
know, from the field covered by a book and from the chapter 
headings, in what part he will find information on any topic, 
he does not deserve consideration. Such a view, which seems 
to be held by a great many authors and publishers today, is 
as reasonable and as sound as it would be to argue that a cat- 
alog of a library is useless, for the librarian is supposed to 
know what books the library contains. If a student consults 
Dr. Wright's treatise for information concerning the proper- 
ty rights of free negroes, for example, may he assume that 
all information on this point will be found under "Property 
Acquisition and Holdings," or should he read also the chap- 


ter on "Legal Status of the Free Negro," or must he exam- 
ine the entire book ? We should like to see courses in index- 
making and the importance of indexes included in every col- 
lege curriculum, especially in the departments of history. 

The book is a repository of innumerable facts bearing on 
different phases of the free negro problem. There is little 
or no generalization concerning the facts, and, except in the 
brief Introduction and Conclusion, little summary or discus- 
sion of the issues of "free negroism" as a whole. With the 
statistical tables which accompany the text, and the vast 
body of statistics and records of laws and transactions in- 
cluded in the text ieself, the work makes available much im- 
portant material for later writers. 

Several chapters of the monograph are devoted to the 
various causes which gave rise to an unusually large number 
of free negroes in Maryland, and the methods of transfer- 
ring slaves to the free class. The many attempts that were 
made to check the growth of the free negro population, in- 
cluding the visionary colonization schemes, also receive due 
attention. Other chapters discuss the free negro's legal 
status and rights, his position in the economic and industrial 
world, his social condition, his education, and his relations 
with the church. Industrially, the negro was employed not 
only in the heavier forms of manual labor, but in nearly all 
the trades, and was depended on for the skilled as well as 
the common labor ("As tonsorial artists,'' we are told, "ne- 
groes were hardly surpassed by any in the state." We should 
have been grateful for quotation marks about this ostenta- 
tious appellation, so dear to the negro barber, to avoid giving 
it the dignity of adoption in a serious historical study). 
Socially, his position was but little more enviable than the 
position of the slaves, and because of his nature and ante- 
cedents, as well as the prejudice against him, his opportun- 
ity for advancement was little better than the slave's. 

One of the most interesting and most important chapters 
is the one on "Legal Status of the Free Negro." Many were 
the laws which were passed, defining and restricting the 
rights of the negroes, and even the privilege of slave-owners 


in respect to manumission of their slaves. As late as the 
constitutional convention of 1850-51, "in drafting a provision 
against the exercise of arbitrary authority against persons 
and property, the word 'freeman' was objected to, because it 
was urged that its insertion might preclude action, in case 
the state should desire to banish a certain portion of its 
population. In order to remove doubts as to this point, an 
amendment was added to the clause declaring that it was 
not to be held to prevent the legislature from regulating and 
disposing of the colored population *as they may see fit.' " 

The author divides the history of free negroes in Mary- 
land into two periods, "one before, the other after the gen- 
eral emancipation of the civil war period." His work deals 
only with the first period. It may be regretted that he did 
not extend this to the actual year of emancipation (1864) 
instead of stopping at 1860. What part was taken by the 
free negroes in the civil war, and how the negro's position 
was affected by the war, would have been interesting points 
for inclusion, as the final phase of "free negroism" before 
general emancipation and reconstruction. But Dr. Wright's 
researches have been so diligent, and the published result 
is so replete both with facts and with citations of sources, 
that all future investigators of negro history and slavery 
will be under great indebtedness to him. C. S. T. 

The Founding of New England. By James Truslow 
Adams. (Boston: The Atlantic Monthly Press, c 1921. 
pp. XI, 482). 

At the risk of irrelevancy, a review of this book may well 
begin with a word of welcome to the publishers. In the last 
two or three years the Atlantic Monthly Press has been 
rapidly advancing to a rank in the publishing of books,which 
compares very favorably with the high standing of the 
famous periodical from which it takes its name. The work 
before us is its first contribution to the class of painstaking 
historical investigation. It is to be hoped that the book is 
not merely a result of tercentenary interest in Pilgrim an- 
cestry, but a forerunner of other studies as excellent as this. 


The author of the book is also a comparatively new addi- 
tion to the field of historical writing, having previously pub- 
lished only two local histories. Writing from the modem 
viewpoint, with infinite care in research and with sound 
judgment, he has produced one of the most important his- 
torical books of recent years. While never failing to cite his 
authorities for countless minute details, and never losing 
sight of his main theme, he has also succeeded well, on the 
whole, in imparting live interest to his narrative. But the 
interest or readability of the story may be still further in- 
creased, if a later edition of the book is ever published, if 
many of the sentences are cut into two or three. The author 
displays a fondness for multiplication of clauses, so that the 
reader, when he does arrive at a new sentence, often finds 
himself wondering into what it may lead him. For example : 
"Under the circumstances, it is significant that over one half 
of the church members seem to have voted for Bradstreet 
and compromise, for it is fair to presume that they would 
include a much larger proportion of irreconcilables than 
the unenfranchised body of non-church members, who 
would have nothing to gain by fighting England to a finish, 
in order to preserve a church of which they were not mem- 
bers, and a theocratical government which excluded them 
from power." In the midst of sentences such as this, the 
reader is grateful for occasional lighter touches; as when 
we are told that the Massachusetts Court flatly refused to 
obey a royal mandate, "and so notified the King, though they 
sent him their prayers for his eternal happiness." 

In his treatment of the subject, the author has followed 
the present-day method of viewing the colonies not as in- 
dependent bodies politic, nor as the nucleus of the nation 
into which they were later united, but as a part — ^and at 
first only a small part — of the British empire. The early 
history of New England is carefully studied "against the 
background of the economic and imperial conditions and 
theories of the time." The entire work is based on the 
author's own examination of the original sources, supple- 
mented by wise use of a very wide range of secondary 


sources, both old and new. Much of the treatise's value 
depends on the skill with which the researches of the best 
modern investigators have been utilized, to supplement the 
primary material. There seem to be no references to Good- 
win's "Pilgrim Republic," or to Fiske's ^'Beginnings of New 
England." John Fiske, of coures belonged to the older 
school of "philosophic" historians. His exact references to 
authorities are few, and later research has upset some of 
his conslusions. But the time has not yet come when his 
work can be entirely set aside. 

As Mr. Adams states in his Preface, "The older concep- 
tion of New England history, according to which that sec- 
tion was considered to have been settled by persecuted re- 
ligious refugees, devoted to liberty of conscience, who, in the 
disputes with the mother-country, formed a united mass of 
liberty-loving patriots unanimously opposed to an unmiti- 
gated tyranny, has, happily, for many years, been passing." 
The author accordingly "has tried to indicate that economic 
as well as religious factors played a very considerable part 
in the great migration during the early settlement period, in 
the course of which over sixty-five thousand Englishmen left 
their homes for various parts of the New World, of which 
number approximately only four thousand were to join the 
New England churches. He has also endeavored to exhibit 
the workings of the theocracy, and to show how, in the period 
treated, the domestic struggle against the tyranny exercised 
by the more bigoted members of the theocratic party was of 
greater importance in the history of liberty than the more 
dramatic contest with the mother country." 

In all this the author has done exceedingly well. The 
main criticism of his work is that he has not always pro- 
jected himself sufficiently into the past. Seventeenth-cen- 
tury events often need to be interpreted in the light of the 
seventeenth-century spirit, and not alone by twentieth-cen- 
tury scholarship. It is not at all a pleasing picture of the 
"Pilgrim Fathers" which is set before the reader, and it is 
hard to fancy a reader finishing the book and being proud 
of a Massachusetts Bay lineage. There is, of course, good 


reason for a great many shadows in the picture. But there 
were some brighter lights, which the author has not caught. 
In striving to correct the undue idealization and glorification 
into which earlier writers commonly fell, he has gone rather 
far toward the other extreme of depreciation. The force of 
the religious motive in the migration is, we think, somewhat 
underestimated. And in some particulars, as the treatment 
of the Indians and the inconsistencies of theocratic intoler- 
ancy, for example, the present author's estimates fail to 
take into account any of the explanatory and perhaps par- 
tially exculpatory facts to which Fiske called attention. On 
these two points it will do the reader no harm to supplement 
Mr. Adams' account with pages 226-229 and 144-146 of 
"The Beginnings of New England." 

One of the most valuable contributions made by the book 
lies in the clearness with which economic and political rela- 
tions with England are set forth. To some readers, the 
heroism of the patriots of '76 might seem unduly diminished 
by any suggestion that they magnified the "tyranny" of 
the mother country. It is on this point that the work of 
earlier histroians is in most need of revision, and Mr. Adams 
has rendered Amreican history a great service in retelling 
this part of the story so faithfully and so convincingly. 

Typographically the book is most pleasing, and we are re- 
minded that it is still possible to bind books well. There is 
an excellent index, although the preparation of an adequate 
index to so comprehensive a work, with its multitude of 
facts, was a task which many precedents would have said 
might be shirked. Unfortunately there is no bibliography, 
and the lack is only in small part made up by the careful 
foot-note references. C. S. T. 

Opening a Highway to the Pacific, l838'28Jf6. By James 
Christy Bell, Jr., Ph.D. [Columbia University Studies in 
History, Economics and Public Law, Vol. XCVI, No. 1]. 
(New York: Columbia University, 1921. pp. 209). 

This is a monograph which was written "to study the 
hopes and fears and ideas of a definite, and, in its way, artic- 


ulate group of the American community — that body of 
farmers and mechanics in whose families the tradition of 
westward migration was imbedded through several gener- 
ations after their first coming to the Virginia mountains. 
These ideas are to be studied in relation to certain factors 
which limited in some ways the existence of the pioneers, 
and in others opened new opportunities for their devlop- 
ment" (Preface). 

The political and diplomatic history of the Oregon con- 
troversy is almost entirely ignored; somewhat strangely, 
since this phase of the Oregon question involved something 
m^ore than the mere politics and diplomacy, and was closely 
interwoven with the more romantic phases which the author 
wishes to depict. In one place, after a very brief discussion 
of political issues, we are told that "it will not be necessary 
to refer again to the political activities of the time, since, 
though they became furious, they do not appear to have 
exercised any great influence upon the emigrant sentiment.'' 
Hence the neglect of politics is in keeping with the author's 
declared purpose of treating the migration mainly ''from the 
standpoint of social history, which is meant to be something 
more than narrow political, personal, or economic history." 
Were the account of the social phases of the migration more 
graphic and illuminating, we could the more readily over- 
look this onesidedness of the history. Yet it seems rather 
unfortunate, at best, that the process of opening the trans- 
continental highway should be so completely divorced from 
the political agitation by which the migration was accom- 
panied, and certainly, to some extent, influenced. 

The influence of the missionary activities is also, we think, 
underestimated. The opening paragraph of Chapter V, 
''Spread of the Oregon Fever," does not give the impression 
that the author is entirly sure of his ground in estimating 
the relative importance of missionary propaganda and of 
the more "spontaneous" sentiment attracting men to the 
Oregon country. It leaves the reader, at all events, in con- 
siderable doubt as to the exact degree of importance which 
the writer means to attribute to it. Chapter VI, "Agrarian 


Discontent in the Mississippi Valley, 1840-1845," should 
have been the most important chapter in the book, for it is 
the author's thesis that economic difficulties and failure of 
crops in the Valley were the main cause of the rapid spread 
of the "Oregon fever." But here, again, the author does not 
seem quite sure of his position when he writes that "many 
aspects of this depression — are absolutely unknown, and 
must remain so until historians and economists give the 
period the attention which its importance merits ;" and when 
he rather lamely adds "indeed, we must fall back upon the 
all but meaningless phrases, 'economic depression,' 'hard 
times,' etc., in our effort to describe the progress and extent 
of misery among the farmers." 

Notwithstanding, or rather because of the paucity of 
sources on the economic phase of his subject, of which the 
author complains, a better service might have been rendered 
by more careful elaboration of the "economic depression" 
hypothesis. This, the book's main contribution, is uncon- 
vincingly and somewhat hazily treated throughout, and the 
footnote references do not satisfy the reader that full use 
has been made of even the few sources mentioned, under this 
topic, in the "Bibliographical Note" which is presented as an 
unsatisfactory substitute for a full bibliography. Thus the 
reader is disappointed in finding the writer's principal 
thesis, so alluringly set forth in the Preface, on page 9, not 
developed fully at all or cogently in the pages which follow. 
Most of the chapters are devoted to a review of the early 
history of the Oregon territory, its exploration and exploit- 
ation, and to an account of the hardships and experiences 
of the emigrants on their long journey. None of these chap- 
ters add anything considerable to previous knowledge, and 
the sources drawn on are mainly sources which are of fairly 
easy access. 

The treatment of the famous "Whitman legend" is most 
surprising. The legend is briefly referred to in the text, but 
speedily dismissed as of little importance. An appendix is 
somewhat grudgingly accorded the myth, in order "to indi- 
cate a few ideas regarding the underlying appeal" of the 


legend "which have come to me in the effort to disentangle 
the true from the false of early Oregon history." But the 
author's refutation of the legend would be far from convinc- 
ing, if it had never previously been refuted ; and it is entirely 
unnecessary in view of the fact that the late Professor E. G. 
Bourne demolished the "Oregon Saved" myth once and for 
all. But the well-known expose written by Professor Bourne 
some twenty or more years ago was apparently unknown to 
Dr. Bell, for no mention is made of it either in the text or in 
the bibliography. 

The precedent-breaking illustrations with which this vol- 
ume of the Columbia University Studies is embelished add 
nothing to the historical value of the work, and seem to in- 
dicate that the author was perplexed between the opposing 
desires of producing a book of historical importance to the 
student and of casual interest to the general reader. The 
style of the work is interesting, but is marred by occasional 
bits of careless writing such as "the Hudson's Bay Company, 
who sought to control and restrain the natives," and "the 
feature of national advantage was but incidental, which 
could not be called upon, as Astor did, when it was desired 
to secure popular favor." C. S. T. 


The Writing of History: An Introduction to Historical 
Method. By Fred Morrow Fling, Ph.D. (New Haven : Yale 
University Press, 1920. pp. 195). 

This brief text-book on historical method may be studied 
with profit by any beginner in the study of historical inves- 
tigation, and may well be carefully read by all teachers of 
history. It is intended only as an elementary introduction 
to the subject, and was written "for college students who 
are beginning their studies in historical research, for 
teachers of history who have had no critical historical train- 
ing, and for students of history who are hoping to find in 
private study some compensation for opportunities not en- 
joyed in college" (Foreword). The book is briefer and less 


abstract than the "Introduction to the Study of History" 
by Langlois and Seignobos, which may well come between 
this and the more advanced work of Bernheim. 

The book includes chapters on Choice of a Subject, Crit- 
icism of the Sources for genuineness, localization, and inde- 
pendence, Establishment of the Facts, Synthesis, and Expo- 
sition. The examples with which the theories are illustrated 
are taken from the period of the French Revolution. Some 
parts of the text seem rather elementary, even for the 
classes of readers to whom they are addressed, and the 
examples cited, though illuminating, rather disproportion- 
ately difficult for most students. The work is most useful, 
however, and should help materially in aiding beginners in 

In connection with this work by Dr. Fling, attention may 
be called to "Source Problems in United States History," 
by A. C. McLaughlin, William E. Dodd, and others. (New 
York: Harper & Brothers, c. 1918). This does not contain 
anything of historical theory, but the practical problems so 
fully presented, with the notes on sources, will be very help- 
ful to young students, especially if preceded by Dr. Fling's 
presentation of historical method. C. S. T. 

Recent History of the United States. By Frederic L. Pax- 
son. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1921. pp. XII, 

This is the latest of the attempts, which are becoming so 
frequent, to write the history of the United States since the 
Civil War. Like most of the others, it begins with the elec- 
tion of President Hayes, as the nation was emerging from 
the era of reconstruction, and it closes with the election of 
President Harding, in 1920, with the problems of reconstruc- 
tion after an even greater war still unsolved. 

"From Hayes to Harding," the book might have been 
entitled, as more in keeping with the apparent intention to 
give the work as wide popular appeal as possible. Unless 
with the purpose of providing interesting reading, it is dif- 
ficult to understand why certain chapters should have been 
included. Chapter XII, for example, on "Wild West and 


Sport," contains nine pages, mainly about Buffalo Bill and 
P. T. Barnum, professional baseball and boxing, bicycling, 
croquet, and roller skating. The bibliography on this chap- 
ter includes A. G. Spalding's "America's National Game," a 
life of Buffalo Bill, and P. T. Barnum's pleasing work of 
self-adulatory fiction styled his autobiography. Possibly 
paying to watch other men engage in sports is so typically 
an American amusement that a complete picture of the 
American people should take it into consideration, but we 
question the necessity, in a "Recent History of the United 
States," of chronicling the opening of the American Jockey 
Club, or the names and nicknames of the clubs with which 
the National League Baseball Clubs was organized. 

Certain other chapters, apart from the beaten path of con- 
temporary histories, are included with better reason. For ex- 
ample. Chapter I contains a discussion of educational pro- 
gress, and Chapter III a sketch of literary development. 
Both of these chapters, however, are too brief to be of much 
value. A much larger amount of space might better have 
been given to a more carefully considered discussion of 
American educational progress and tendencies, and to lite- 
rary or cultural activities since the Civil War. The same 
criticism may be made of the entire work, as of most — if 
not all — of the similar books which have yet been written. 
There are too many facts, with too little sifting and group- 
ing and analysis of the essential facts. Interesting reading 
is provided, to awaken reminiscences and recollections of the 
older readers, and, for the juniors, to fill the gap between 
the school text-books and today's newspapers, but there is 
little contribution of permanent historical value. Viewed 
as a historical study, the work marks no advance beyond 
the same author's "The New Nation," published in 1915, 
with which, indeed, it does not compare very favorably. 

C. S. T. 

Chronicles of America. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Uni- 
versity Press, 1918-1921. 50 vols). 

Publication of this interesting contribution to American 
History has now been completed, with the issue of the last 


ten volumes. The series was planned and put through with 
the very definite purpose of popularizing the study of our 
history, while at the same time maintaining a high standard 
of accuracy and fair-mindedness. The different periods and 
phases of the nation's history are treated in small volumes, 
each of which was expected to cover its field as thoroughly 
as possible, but without the inclusion of unnecessary details 
to burden the reader who does not care for history as it is 
usually written. For the same reader's benefit, footnotes 
are almost entirely lacking, and the only concession to ordi- 
nary practice is the "Bibliographical Note" at the end of 
each volume. These notes, too, are designed rather as sug- 
gestions for further reading of a general nature, than as an 
exact record of sources consulted or as an aid to other in- 

Most of the volumes are written by historical students 
and teachers of established reputation. For example, C. M. 
Andrews writes on "The Fathers of New England" and on 
Colonial Folkways," S. G. Fisher on "The Quaker Colonies," 
G. M. Wrong on "The Conquest of New France" and "Wash- 
ington and his Comrades in Arms," C. L. Becker on "The 
Eve of the Revolution," F. A. Ogg on "The Old Northwest," 
and "The Reign of Andrew Jackson," W. E. Dodd on "The 
Cotton Kingdom," Holland Thompson on "The New South," 
C. R. Fish on "The Path of Empire," and Herbert E. Bolton 
on "The Spanish Border Lands." 

Because of the scope of the entire series, no volume is in 
any way exhaustive in its treatment of its topic. All of 
them, however, present a reasonably comprehensive view of 
the essentials. They are so written as to fulfill admirably 
the purpose of the editors, for the authors have succeeded 
in making the books most interesting reading. It is to be 
regretted, we think, that quite so great concessions were 
made to the popular prejudice against the harmless and 
unobtrusive footnote, a judicious use of which occasionally, 
would have increased the value of the books, without dimin- 
ishing their popularity. One good feature of the series is 
that the volumes may be read independently of others, and 


in any order, while if read consecutively they will be found 
to dove-tail together to form a fairly unified account of our 
whole history. The printing of the books, as regards paper, 
type, illustrations, and excellence of press work, is a very 
notable achievement. 

More detailed mention will be made, in later issues of the 
Quarterly, of the volumes of this series which relate especi- 
ally to the South, and of some of the other volumes. 

C. S. T. 



The Sewanee Review of July-September, 1921, publishes 
a paper by John Douglas Van Horn on the Southern Atti- 
tude toward Slavery that contains many interesting quota- 
tions from writings before and after the Civil War. Mr. 
Van Horn emphasizes the difficulty in the North of today of 
understanding the ante-bellum Southern attitude toward 
slavery and points out that such an understanding was much 
easier for Northerners before 1861. In 1831 William Lloyd 
Garrison found a revolution of sentiment more necessary 
in the North than in the South. "It was war, — prolonged 
and successful war, that finally inspired the Northern people 
with the exaltation about slavery which seems still to pos- 
sess many of them." But Mr. Van Horn shows that it may 
be difficult also for a present day Southerner to understand 
the attitude of the ante-bellum South towards slavery. He 
minimizes the unity in regard to slavery that developed in 
the South before 1861 and over-emphasizes the influence of 
abolitionism in arousing the South in defense of the institu- 
tion. He does not bring out the evolution of sentiment in 
the South: first, regret that slavery existed and hope and 
expectation of its abolition ; second, apology for slavery but 
no expectation of its eradication; and third, the defense of 
slavery on economic, social and political grounds supported 
by philosophic, moral, and religious arguments. Of the 
philosophy of Thomas R. Dew and Chancellor Harper and 
its acceptance and poularization by John C. Calhoun, Jeffer- 
son Davis and other leaders of the old South Mr. Van Horn 
makes no mention. That attack from the outside had much 
to do with silencing all criticism in the South and arousing 
sectional antagonism none can deny, but that economic and 
racial factors, without this outside influence, would have 
organized the section in suppoi;^: of the institution must be 
evident to careful students of the old South and the new. 

The South Atlantic Quarterly of October has an article by 
Broadus Mitchell on Two Industrial Revolutions in which 


the author seeks to remind the reader of "salient compari- 
sons between the English original and the Southern mani- 
festation, with the hope that others may interest themselves 
productively in the subject." He laments that classes in 
Southern schools and colleges should be acquainted with 
what happened in West Riding and remain largely unfa- 
miliar with the facts and significance of industrial changes 
in the Carolinas and Georgia. Mr. Mitchell finds the funda- 
mental distinctions between the two revolutions are that in 
England the change came unannounced, the causes were 
economic, and the initiation was the work of individual 
workmen and middle class merchant-manufacturers; while 
in the South the revolution was heralded, the causes were 
moral as well as economic, and the initiation was the work 
of conspicuous members of the community, at the urging of 
the vv^hole people. In the discussion that follows, many 
comparisons are made that raise points that invite investi- 
gation by students of economic history. 

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly for October, 1921, 
contains the first installment of the Bryan-Haynes Corre- 
spondence. At Kenyon College in Ohio a life-long friend- 
ship was formed between Rutherford B. Hayes and Grey M. 
Bryan of Texas. Their correspondence covers a perior of 
fifty years, 1843-1892, and according to the editor, it "is 
most complete and reaches its greatest importance during 
the campaign for the presidency in 1876 and Hayes' admin- 
istration, 1877-1881." The Quarterly contains also a paper 
by Mattie Austin Hatcher on Conditions in Texas as Affect- 
ing the Colonization Problem, 1795-1801 ; one by Edwin P. 
Arneson on Early Irrigation in Texas; and the Journal of 
Lewis Birdsall Harris, 1836-1842. 

The Tennessee Historical Magazine for October, 1920, pre- 
sents a very interesting discussion by W. E. Beard of The 
Autobiography of Martin Van Buren, of special interest to 
Tennesseeans because it is a most intimate commentary on 
the stormy administration of Andrew Jackson. A. V. Good- 
pasture in Pepys and the Proprietors of Carolina calls at- 


tention to the fact that Pepys, who has been called a "gar- 
ralous gossip" and who knew all the proprietors of Carolina 
and had every opportunity to learn something of Carolina, 
does not mention it once. The Magazine presents also The 
Extension of the Northern Boundary Line of Tennessee — 
The Matthew Line by Robert S. Henry ; Andrew Jackson a 
member of the Guilford (N. C.) Bar, a Reprint from the 
North Carolina Booklet, Vol. XIX ; Marriage Record of Knox 
County, Tennessee (Concluded) by Miss Kate White; and 
Aboriginal Remains in Tennessee, a paper by M. E. McElwee. 

In the September number of the Register of the Kentucky 
State Historical Society the record of Woodford County by 
William E. Railey is concluded. The number includes also 
Fayette County Tax List for the year 1788 ; Col. M. C. Tay- 
lor's Diary in Lopez Cardenas* Expedition, 1850 ; and a His- 
tory of the Kentucky Geological Survey (1838-1921) by 
Willard Rouse Jillison, Sc.D., Director and State Geologist. 



The Georgia Historical Quarterly considers it very ap- 
propriate to recognize the splendid success which has 
crowned the efforts of those who endeavored to secure a 
war memorial fund of one million dollars for the University 
of Georgia. To Chancellor David C. Barrow, Dr. R. P. 
Brooks, alumni secretary, and to all who cooperated with 
them we extend our hearty congratulations on securing 
$1,048,000. We rejoice with them also in the gift of $100,000 
by the General Education Board, which increases the war 
memorial fund to $1,148,000. 

The Georgia Historical Quarterly welcomes the South 
Georgia Historical and Genealogical Quarterly, a very recent 
magazine devoted to the presentation of local history and 
genealogy of South Georgia. Special emphasis will be placed 
in this magazine on abstracts of public records, lists of 
county officers, clippings from old newspapers, lists of troops 
serving in the several wars, and family records. 

The Georgia Historical Quarterly is interested in every 
effort made in behalf of higher education in the State. We 
observe with genuine pleasure that the dreams of a greater 
Mercer University are gradually being realized. The presi- 
dent's residence and the faculty apartment are completed, 
and the new dining hall, seating one thousand students, is in 
course of construction and is to be completed early in Janu- 
ary. A most impressive ceremony took place October 25, 
when the corner stone of the new dining hall was laid by 
the officers of the Grand Lodge of Masons of Georgia. 

Special attention is called to a recent publication on naval 
stores, entitled. Naval Stores, History, Production, Distribu- 
tion and Consumption, compiled by Thomas Gamble, editor of 
Weekly Naval Stores Review, Savannah, Ga. This compila- 
tion represents careful and comprehensive investigation and 
includes in its three hundred rather large pages, information 


on naval stores not only in the United States, but in all 
countries where they are found. Many illustrations are fur- 
nished throughout the volume. 

Dr. Charles H. Levermore, director of the World Peace 
Foundation, secretary of the World Court League, and lec- 
turer under the auspices of the Institute of International 
Education in New York, addressed the students of Mercer 
University November 4, on the international problems re- 
sulting from the World War. He spoke with authority, 
since his position had enabled him to secure first hand in- 
formation. The subject of his lecture was "Reconstruction*' 
with a summary of what the League of Nations has actually 

For the benefit of those who may be interested in the his- 
torical source materials of Georgia, attention is called to the 
valuable work which is being done by the Department of 
Archives and History for the State of Georgia. The annual 
report issued January 1, 1921, contains information of 
value to the historical investigator. During the present year 
much time has been devoted to arranging the loose docu- 
ments of which there are some 200,000. A card index of all 
the materials received by the department makes these 
sources all the more accessible. Many of these manuscripts 
have been so much neglected that it is necessary to clean, 
press and mend them before they can be of service to the 
historical student.